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Ellen Bulzone

Oral history interview conducted by Sady Sullivan and Jennifer Egan

March 20, 2009

Call number: 2010.003.005

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EGAN: Um --

E. BULZONE: I'm not familiar with the subway at all. I don't think I've ever been -- maybe years ago, when -- I lived in Brooklyn when I was first married, and I worked in Macy's, and I remember something -- because I was trying to think back. I knew it was that -- you know. There was -- I rode the subway from Brooklyn into Macy's. I worked at Macy's. So that -- whatever mind that was, I -- [laughter]

EGAN: That's funny.


EGAN: It's so funny to think of being in New York and not taking the subway.

E. BULZONE: No, right.

EGAN: I live in Brooklyn now, so --

E. BULZONE: [laughter]

EGAN: I'm on it all the time.

E. BULZONE: Right.

EGAN: I don't even own a car. Um --

E. BULZONE: Well, that's just like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, you know?

EGAN: Right.

E. BULZONE: People come here. Uh, last week, there was a school -- my cousin is a teacher, and their band was selected to come and participate in a band, uh, competition. So they made a two-day trip here to New York. And so she called me and told me she was coming and everything. So she sent me the itinerary. And I saw all the places they were going, and half of them I had never, ever been to. [laughter]


EGAN: Ha. [laughter] It's amazing, you can live your whole life in a place, and -- [laughter]

E. BULZONE: Right. [laughter] And for years, I had never been to Ellis Island. And finally I went there because my mother-in-law, when he restored, you know, they had to plug their names on the boards over there. We went over and punched in the name and everything, so that -- that's the only time I was ever there. [laughter]

EGAN: I've never been. [laughter] You're making me want to go.

E. BULZONE: It's interesting.

EGAN: Yeah.

E. BULZONE: I mean, it was.

EGAN: I really -- I should do it. I should take my kids there.

E. BULZONE: I was surprised. Because I -- like I say, I'd never been there. But they restored quite a few buildings there, so those plaques are --

EGAN: Yeah, I would like to go.

E. BULZONE: You know, they have big outside -- well, I call them bulletin boards. But, I mean, they're full of names, and --

EGAN: Right.

E. BULZONE: -- when they -- the years they came here, came through Ellis Island.

EGAN: So interesting.

E. BULZONE: And then you go inside and there's the museum and everything.

EGAN: That's so cool.

E. BULZONE: It's interesting.

EGAN: So are you set up to -- to go?



E. BULZONE: For this --

EGAN: All right.

E. BULZONE: Before we start, for instance --

EGAN: Yeah.

E. BULZONE: What are the -- what are the sort of the subjects you're going to ask or anything? I mean --

EGAN: Well, I'll start out by just asking you very basic things -- your full name, your maiden name --

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.

EGAN: -- date of birth -- just all the basic information. Then I'll ask you a little bit about your family where you lived, where you grew up, and then talk about the -- your, um, the work that you did during the war: how you came to do that work, what the process of training was, what the work itself consisted of --

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.

EGAN: -- the people that you worked with. Your -- any particular memories. Just trying to basically get you to remember anything you can remember. Um --

E. BULZONE: [laughter] I went in and got some pictures.

EGAN: Oh, great.

E. BULZONE: That, that -- I said, "Oh, gosh." And, you know, when you don't see them for a long time, you think, you know -- this sort of makes you think of things. [laughter]

EGAN: Yeah, no, that's good. That's -- that can be really helpful.


EGAN: To just get your own memory going.

E. BULZONE: Yeah. Mm-hmm. Okay.

EGAN: Um -- yeah. Just -- basically, anything you remember about that time and 3:00the work you did.

E. BULZONE: Yeah. Okay.

SULLIVAN:And side stories. You know, we're -- we're interested in these oral histories bringing a lot of the life back to the yard. So, you know, your wedding in the chapel there, even, if --

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.

SULLIVAN:Any little details that you may think are tangents, they're probably relevant, so tell us. [laughter]

E. BULZONE: Right. [laughter]

EGAN: Anything you remember, basically.

E. BULZONE: All right. [laughter]

EGAN: But let's start with -- can you just tell us your full name --


EGAN: -- with the correct spelling?

E. BULZONE: Oh. It's Ellen -- E-L-L-E-N -- Marie. My maiden name is Hanlin, H-A-N-L-I-N. And my last name is Bulzone. B-U-L-Z-O-N-E.

EGAN: And what is your date of birth?

E. BULZONE: [date redacted for privacy] 1923.


EGAN: And where were you born?

E. BULZONE: Pennville -- it's one word. P-E-N-N-V-I-L-L-E. Indiana.

[Interview Interrupted.]

E. BULZONE: I'm sorry.

EGAN: No problem.

E. BULZONE: Hello? Oh, I hate these calls. The mortgage, or [inaudible]

EGAN: I know it's [inaudible]

E. BULZONE: -- you're over 65, you're -- [laughter]

EGAN: [laughter]



EGAN: So, and, is that -- did you grow up in Indiana?

E. BULZONE: Yes. Grew up on a farm.

EGAN: Um, can you talk about, uh, the experience that led you to be in New York?

E. BULZONE: Well, I joined the Navy, and I came to, um, New York to take basic 5:00training at Hunter College.

EGAN: Was that the first place that you went?

E. BULZONE: First place that I went. Uh-huh.

EGAN: And can you talk a little bit about what that training consisted of?

E. BULZONE: I was trying to think this morning. Let's see. I, um -- well, I, uh -- frankly, I don't remember. I guess we just got oriented into Navy life, because that was during the war, and, uh, we -- we were issued, like, uniforms and things like that. And we marched, I know, as a group, we marched around the neighborhood, I guess. I can remember that. And --

EGAN: Was this in the Hunter College neighborhood?


E. BULZONE: Right.

EGAN: So in Manhattan?

E. BULZONE: That's Manhattan.

EGAN: Okay.

E. BULZONE: Right. Uh-huh.

EGAN: What year was this?

E. BULZONE: Nineteen --[laughter] I -- I -- I found something here that I thought, gosh, I have to remember. 1940 -- graduated in '41...

EGAN: From high school or college?

E. BULZONE: It must be 1943.

EGAN: And when you say you had graduated in '41, was that from high school or college?

E. BULZONE: From high school. Mm-hmm.

EGAN: What led you to join the Navy?

E. BULZONE: I had a girlfriend, and the two of us just one day decided we were going to join the Navy. [laughter] And we -- and that's what we did.

EGAN: Um, was that something other people you knew were doing?


E. BULZONE: Not necessarily, because I, um -- we -- as far as I know, our -- to my knowledge, because we were the only two at that particular time that I know of. Now, there might have been some later on, but at that time, there wasn't. We were the only two -- I think we were probably the first two. [laughter]

EGAN: Was it easy to join? How did you know how to do it?

E. BULZONE: Well, you know, I don't know. I don't remember. Um... I know that, um -- we went and joined and -- I don't re--I remember we took a train from Indiana to New York, and that much I can remember. And I only remember, like -- 8:00I don't remember, you know -- I don't remember what we studied or what we did. That, I have no idea. Because after that, I was transferred to Stillwater, Oklahoma. And I took a Navy training course there as a -- in personnel, really. Because that was -- what I, you know -- that was the work I did. Like, office work, we'll say. Because I worked in an office in Indiana. And, um -- so I did, you know, office work.

EGAN: Indiana was after the training at Hunter College?

E. BULZONE: No, no, no. Before, see.

EGAN: I see.

E. BULZONE: Because I graduated in '41. We must have joined in '43 -- '43, '44, 9:00'45, '46. So it was in three years. So I must have gone in and -- I -- I'm sorry -- I should have gone and got my discharge papers, but they're -- I don't have them here. And, uh -- I do know that I was, uh, discharged in August of 1946 when the, you know -- from the regular Navy. Well, it was USNR, really. It's not USN. And then I was in the reserves until 1949.

EGAN: Can you tell us a little bit about your family? Whom you lived with on the farm?

E. BULZONE: Oh. I -- I had my mother and my father, and I have three sisters and two brothers. And we all grew up in that area -- you know, we all grew up on the 10:00farm there.

And my father was a well-driller. Some oil well, but mostly water wells, you know, because out there on farms you have water wells. You don't have cities -- city water or anything. You have a pump. [laughter] And it pumps the water up into your house. That's what my father did. And my mother was a stay-at-home mother, and as I say, I had, uh, two brothers and, uh, three sisters.

EGAN: And what was their reaction when you decided to join?

E. BULZONE: Well, I am the oldest one, and my -- say, my -- my three sisters and my brother was much, much younger than me. In fact, my youngest brother was born 11:00when I was in the Navy.

EGAN: Wow. Big age range.

E. BULZONE: So -- right. [laughter] No, my family didn't -- they didn't object. I mean, uh... never, uh, to my knowledge. So then after graduating from Stillwater, I went to, um, Sampson Naval Training Center. And that was in, uh, Sampson, New York. I think there's a town called that. That's what the address always was, anyway.

EGAN: That's where --

[Interview Interrupted.]

-- as well.

E. BULZONE: Oh. And I worked in the personnel office there.

EGAN: And this is still before, uh, Hunter College?

E. BULZONE: No. See, Hunter College was a three-month thing.

EGAN: And that was between Stillwater and Sampson, or --?

E. BULZONE: Uh, no.

EGAN: Okay.

E. BULZONE: First it was, um, Hunter College for three months -- what they call basic training.


EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: Then, as additional schooling, I went for three months training in Stillwater, and from there I was assigned to the Sampson Naval Training Center.

EGAN: Okay.

E. BULZONE: See, it was Hunter College, Stillwater, Oklahoma, and then Sampson, New York. And there, what I did -- I worked in the personnel office there. And we made up -- because that was a training center for regular Navies. And they would come there for their training, and then we would make up, like, what we called drafts of maybe tweny-five -- thirty men, and they were shipped out from there after -- after they did their basic training. And that's what I did for the time I was there.

EGAN: Does that mean you helped to create the lists of men who would be shipped?

E. BULZONE: Right. Mm-hmm.

EGAN: And how did you go about doing that?


E. BULZONE: Well, let me see. I only worked in the office, so, I mean, there -- it was a system that they, you know, uh -- I guess their superiors, you know, selected who was going where. Or, you know -- for instance, right now, I know by my grandson, you know, they take your grades, but back in those days, I think they just needed bodies. So they didn't really screen them like they're doing today. But -- um -- we just made up, ah, draft lists -- that's what we used to always call them -- now that I can remember. We just made them up, and they were shipped out from there to various places, wherever they were -- they were going, or whatever they were, you know, doing. But all this time I was in personnel.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: That's -- personnel work. Administrative work, I guess you would call it.

EGAN: And was your friend that you had enlisted with also with you anymore?


E. BULZONE: No. Never -- never came in contact. Never.

EGAN: [laughter] How long did you last together?

E. BULZONE: Um, just to Hunter College.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: And that was the end. [laughter] And I don't even know -- I haven't think of -- I don't even know if she's alive yet today. [laughter] I sometimes ask my family, you know, like... but, like I say, I don't know.

EGAN: Did you choose personnel? How did you come to work in that area?

E. BULZONE: Because I had worked in an office. I worked -- I worked for -- I don't know the name of it. But what it was was -- like a farmer's type, uh -- it was called Triple-A office, and we helped the farmers if they needed -- oh -- how can I explain it? It was, like, an agricultural -- because where I come from, it was all rural, it was all farm country.


And they, um, had to have, like, say -- back in those days, they got help from the government and stuff like that. And that's the type of work this -- you know, that I did. So I assume that's why they assigned me to that.

EGAN: Mm-hmm. Um, and how long were you in at Sampson?

E. BULZONE: Until January of 1946.

EGAN: And then what happened at that point?

E. BULZONE: I was transferred to the Brooklyn receiving station.

EGAN: And where was that?

E. BULZONE: Well, it was right across the street from the Navy Yard. [laughter] That I know.

EGAN: Which part? Because the Navy Yard is so big...

E. BULZONE: Well, now, I'll tell you something that happened, and maybe you can find it from there. Is there a prison or a jail or something on that same street?


EGAN: Um -- on Flushing?

E. BULZONE: Flushing Avenue. Was it -- ?EGAN: There -- there may have been, and there may still be. I don't -- I'm not aware of one now.

E. BULZONE: Well, the reason why I'm saying this -- one time -- because I had never been back there, because we were transferred -- after we got married we were transferred all around. But I had a new ID card made. And they said, go to the receipt -- you know, they could go to -- well, maybe they said the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I don't know. But anyway, I drove over there, and I knew right where the receiving station was, having been there so much. So I went, and I drove right up to the gate -- the guard was there, and he says to me... I don't know his exact words. And I said, "Well, I came -- I'm coming here --" I says, "I need a new ID form, you know, dependents ID form." And he says, "Well, lady, you 17:00don't want to come in here. This is a jail." [laughter] So I says, "Oh." He says, "You have to go across the street to the Navy Yard." And I went to a building over there. I had no idea what the building was or anything, but that's how I know that there was a jail there. That's what he told me. [laughter]


EGAN: In the building where you had worked.

E. BULZONE: Where -- in that building where we had worked. Right.

EGAN: Huh.

E. BULZONE: Because it was -- like I say, it was the receiving station, and, um, it was quite an operation there. I mean, uh --

EGAN: What did it consist of?

E. BULZONE: They, um -- well, at that time, they were dismantling a lot of stations -- in other words, they had, like, surplus gear.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: And I -- I know that's what -- what they did, you know -- they did that, because my husband was storekeeper. And that's what -- what he did. And I know that's what he did. But I was still working in the personnel office. And I 18:00think people came there and went on for discharge. You know, that's what they were coming in from various places. And we sent them off to home. And, um, I worked in the personnel office there --

EGAN: How large was the receiving station -- both physically and in term of number of employees there, would you estimate?

E. BULZONE: I would have no idea. But I could find out. [laughter]

EGAN: Did it seem like a big, bustling place, or --?

E. BULZONE: Oh, yes. It was very active. It was an active place. It was a big brick building, and I was on the second floor, and they had a basement area -- because that's where all the surplus furniture, and all the typewriters, and all 19:00-- oh, everything we have to do with -- they were disposing of -- I suppose they disbanded barracks and places, because there was furniture and everything like that. And it was all collected there, and it was sold, too.

EGAN: Where were you living at that time?

E. BULZONE: I'll tell you -- well, see, I was -- where the heck did I live? There must have been a -- we had quarters in a hotel. But don't ask me what hotel it was -- but it was in Manhattan, because shortly after I was there, I had met my husband, and we used to go to the plays and things like that, and I 20:00know I had to be dropped off in Manhattan before I had to go to work the next day. But I have no idea what hotel it was. My God, I didn't even think of that before.

EGAN: When you say "we" were quartered in a hotel, did you travel to work with other people? Were you part of a group?

E. BULZONE: No, no. But there's this other girl -- where the heck did she come from? I guess -- maybe we did. Because she was a storekeeper, I know. That I -- that I can't remember. I don't remember how -- how -- I guess we went by subway. I don't think we were picked up in a van, or anything like that.


EGAN: Do you remember anything specific about the commute to work?


EGAN: How you went?

E. BULZONE: No. I haven't -- I haven't the faintest idea.

EGAN: What about the hours or the shifts that you worked?

E. BULZONE: Oh it was just daytime.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: Like, nine to five, or whatever. We didn't have to stand any watches or anything like that.

EGAN: And you say you met your husband during that period?

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.

EGAN: How -- how and where did you meet?

E. BULZONE: Well, like I say, I worked in personnel. And back in those days, they always had tickets to the ball games and the theater and all that kind of stuff. And that's what -- that was my job. I gave -- I had -- I had charge of that. [laughter]

EGAN: You were popular. [laughter]

E. BULZONE: I -- very. [laughter]


EGAN: [laughter]

E. BULZONE: So one day the chief storekeeper came and he wanted tickets to Ebbets Field -- you know, Ebbets Field, I guess. That's where the Dodgers were, right? And we had them, you know. So then he says to me, "You want to go with 22:00me?" So I says, "I didn't, uh, -- you know" I -- I didn't know. But the officer in charge of -- that I had worked under, I remember his name -- Ray Gould. I went to Ray and I says, "Ray, you know the chief storekeeper downstairs?" I says, "Do you know if he's married or not?" [laughter] And he says, "No, he's not." So I say, "Well, all right, then, I guess I'll go to the ball game with him." And that's how I met him, and that's how -- that was our first date. And we always laugh about that. We went to a ballgame and had hot dogs. [laughter]

SULLIVAN:In Ebbets Field?

E. BULZONE: Yeah, right.

SULLIVAN:Oh, that's so great.

E. BULZONE: Yeah. [laughter]

EGAN: Wow. So when you say he was a chief storekeeper, was he a Navy employee as well?

E. BULZONE: No. No, he was in the Navy -- you know?

EGAN: Right, I see. Okay.

E. BULZONE: Right. They were Navy. Like I say, I could find out about -- you 23:00know, I can't remember, uh -- because I have a good friend who was there at the same time, and I still talk to him. In fact, he was our best man. [laughter] He can remember -- oh, God. He can remember -- he thinks of things that I never even remember about. But, uh

EGAN: What -- so you met him during baseball season. We know that.

E. BULZONE: Right. [laughter]

EGAN: Do you remember what month you met your husband?

E. BULZONE: No. Never knew. [laughter]

EGAN: And when were you married?

E. BULZONE: In September of that year.

EGAN: '46.

E. BULZONE: '46, right. September the eighth.

EGAN: My birthday's the seventh. So, uh -- so you met him fairly shortly after you got there, it sounds like.

E. BULZONE: Right. Mm-hmm.

EGAN: Um, talk a little bit more about the -- the personnel work that you did in that place. Was it different from what you had been doing in Sampson?

E. BULZONE: Oh, yes. Because in Sampson, like I say, that was a training school, 24:00and we had those big drafts and everything like that. Here it was just -- you know -- the regular -- I could ask Greg -- I don't know what their main function was. I think it was to -- people -- people were being discharged, and they were routed through there, and, uh -- that was it. Because I think it closed shortly -- I -- well, I know it closed, but I don't know how long. Because we left there -- and where did we go -- we went to the Norfolk, Virginia. And I don't know how long it stayed open or anything like that. But as I say, I can find -- I can ask this friend of mine, I mean, what the function of that store was outside of the surplus. I mean, they had this big surplus store there.

EGAN: So -- but you were hand -- you were being in personnel, dealing with 25:00people, presumably --

E. BULZONE: Right.

EGAN: Not things.

E. BULZONE: Not things, right.

EGAN: So does that mean you handled discharges?

E. BULZONE: No, I don't think so. I -- I don't think so. I'm trying to think -- what on earth -- what I did do. [laughter] It just won't come out. [laughter]

EGAN: [laughter]


EGAN: You just hoarded your tickets. [laughter]

E. BULZONE: Right, right. [laughter] I just -- I haven't -- I -- I really don't -- I don't remember what I did, other than just -- I suppose there was paperwork to be done, and I don't remember that there was any more of us. You know, I don't even remember how many there was; I just remember the officer in charge --

EGAN: Mr. Gould.

E. BULZONE: Ray -- Ray Gould. Right. But I don't know. But I think that's what 26:00it was, because, uh, it seems to me that, uh, they -- you know, there were people coming in, going out and going -- coming in and going out.

EGAN: Um, can you describe a little bit about the people that you worked with? How many of you were there? You mentioned that you had a commanding officer, Ray Gould.

E. BULZONE: Right. I have no idea.

EGAN: Do you remember the physical space that you worked in?

E. BULZONE: It was a way -- it was a wide-open space on the second floor. The -- it was a -- it was open. It wasn't a cubicle-type thing. It was wide open. And they could walk in, and of course they had gates across it, you know, like that. But it was -- I know it was on the second floor.

EGAN: Did you sit at a desk?

E. BULZONE: Oh, yes.

EGAN: Were there other women working with you?


E. BULZONE: Oh, there must have been, but I don't remember -- I haven't the slightest idea. [laughter] I told you, I was terrible. I cannot remember. [laughter]

SULLIVAN: Well, you might -- some of it might come back.

E. BULZONE: It seems like a long time ago. [laughter]

EGAN: Um -- did you like Ray Gould? Was he a good guy?

E. BULZONE: Oh, he was a family man. No, he was -- we were very friendly with him. And he was later transferred to Norfolk, Virginia, and his wife was Anne, and he -- and they had four children. We used to -- you know, know. He was -- he was...

EGAN: He stayed a friend.

E. BULZONE:Just -- just -- just coincidence that he followed, you know what I mean?

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: And, um, oh, we remained friends with them for quite some time in Norfolk, and then they got -- we got transferred. And he retired, and he went to -- , um, someplace else. North Carolina. Another -- but, uh, I don't know. Some 28:00people -- I mean, that's one family we stayed, you know, in touch with. And then our best man, like I say, we stayed in touch -- he got transferred to Norfolk. [laughter] We all got transferred to Norfolk.

EGAN: When did the transfer to Norfolk happen?

E. BULZONE: Well -- we have to -- let's wait, we have to, we have to go way back. We got married in September of '46, and, '46, '46, September -- the following year, and -- '47 -- my husband was transferred to, um -- California. And he went to China. He -- he went on a ship to China for a year. And I stayed 29:00in New York. So in '48, he came back, and our friend was in Norfolk, and he called him and said "Come to Norfolk, we've got all the staff here." So we were transferred to Norfolk in 1948 -- he was. Of course, I was --

EGAN: You were just -- you were still a reservist, though?

E. BULZONE: Yes. But you know what? I never participated in anything in that reserves.

EGAN: Huh.

E. BULZONE: Now, I know -- everybody I hear says they had to go for this, but I have a discharge -- they discharged me from the Reserve and I didn't even know it. [laughter] I didn't even know I -- I guess I knew I was signed up when they discharged me, because I have this. But I have this thing that discharged me 30:00into the re-- you know. So I says, well, I didn't even know that, you know. And anyway.

EGAN: You had an easy time as a reservist.

E. BULZONE: Right.


E. BULZONE: So -- and we stayed in Norfolk. And --

EGAN: And how long were you there?

E. BULZONE: Well my son was born in 1953 -- '54, '55, '56, I guess about 1955. And I'm just trying to put the years together. Um -- I have to write it down again, I can tell it a little better. [laughter] We came here in 1957. Because Marisa was born here in '58. So '56, '55 -- I would say, '55, '56 -- in this 31:00period here. I would say we left Norfolk in 1955 and went to Pensacola, Florida. And the latter part of 1956, we were transferred to New York, to Bayonne Naval Station. This is all my husband -- I mean, you know, naturally.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: And, um, we bought this house -- we moved in this house in October of 1957, and we've been here then ever since.

EGAN: Okay. Um, talk a little bit about -- again, in the period when you were in the receiving station --


EGAN: What do you -- what was -- what was the neighborhood like around the 32:00receiving station?

E. BULZONE: It was not that great. [laughter]

EGAN: How so?

E. BULZONE: [laughter] Well, it seems to me like it was very barren. I mean, it was just an industrial street, as far as I was concerned.

EGAN: What about -- were there people around?

E. BULZONE: Oh, there must have been, but I don't, uh, that I don't know.

EGAN: Were you near Sands Street?

E. BULZONE: I've heard of that, but I don't know.

EGAN: Do you -- Sady, do you have the map handy?

SULLIVAN:I do have the map.

EGAN: Because we're still not quite sure where she was.

SULLIVAN:So this is a map of the yard from the '60s, before it was decommissioned. And -- let me see; to orient you...

E. BULZONE: Yes, here's Flushing Avenue.

SULLIVAN:Yep, and so this is the water --


SULLIVAN:And that's Flushing.

E. BULZONE: This is Flushing Avenue.

SULLIVAN:And this is Tenth, right here.


E. BULZONE: Well, here's the -- here's the U.S. Naval Receiving Station, right here.

SULLIVAN:Oh. So that's it. [laughter]

E. BULZONE: [laughter]

SULLIVAN:So it is within -- sort of -- I guess I would think that that was inside the Yard. But you didn't think that that was inside the Yard?


SULLIVAN:I mean, it wasn't considered inside the Yard?

E. BULZONE: Not to my knowledge.


E. BULZONE: I didn't think it was.


E. BULZONE: I didn't -- you know, I didn't know about that. But that's it and also, here's that main gate...

EGAN: So how close is that to Sands Street? I'm just trying to...

E. BULZONE: Well, where is Sands Street?

EGAN: Oh, yeah, that's on the other side.

SULLIVAN:Sands Street is over here.

E. BULZONE: Sands Street is over --

EGAN: Yeah.

E. BULZONE: I've heard of it, but I don't know -- that was sort of a rough, I think, neighborhood type thing. Like in Norfolk, there was -- downtown Norfolk -- nobody went down there. [laughter] I think that's what that was. But, um -- so that's where it was. Now -- and this is across -- now, there's a street here, is there not? Or -- I'm wondering -- It's funny. I thought Flushing Avenue, but 34:00I guess maybe there was a street there, if that's the main gate --

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE:Because then, across here, somewhere, there was a chapel in the Navy Yard, over here.

EGAN: Oh, so the chapel was near the receiving station?

E. BULZONE: It was across the street in an area over there.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: Oh, I'm surprised they wouldn't -- they wouldn't have something marked.


EGAN: I wonder if that's still there.

SULLIVAN:Yeah, I don't know.

EGAN: Is that near the hospital, Sady?


E. BULZONE: It's funny, I don't remember those -- well, there must have been a 35:00gate over here to go into the Navy Yard. Cross the street. It seems to me like it was over in this area.

EGAN: So the chapel was within -- was within the gates --in the Yard.

E. BULZONE: Was in -- yes, we had to go in. Because I remember, we had to go in, and -- um -- there was, um -- a priest stationed at the receiving station, and he married us. But we went -- and we had to go across -- I know it was across the street in here somewhere. I think it was a -- it was a chapel. But I cannot -- I would have thought it was, like, over in here somewhere, but I don't, uh --

EGAN: Daniella would know.

SULLIVAN:Yeah. This is also a -- a later map, so that it might have been -- you know, these buildings might have been different in '46.


E. BULZONE: Well, I wouldn't think so. I mean, uh, when does this say this was done?

SULLIVAN:I think it's the '60s.

E. BULZONE: 1961.


E. BULZONE: Conditions -- hmm. I'm wondering if one of those little -- there's one of those little -- little things where -- where the chapel was.

EGAN: Mm-hmm. Was it a -- was it a building into itself, or was it a -- was it in another building?

E. BULZONE: Yes, yes. I can remember, because going -- we had to go up the steps, and we went in -- it was small. It was not a large -- it was not a large building. That I can remember.


E. BULZONE: But this must have been the main gate. And then across here must have been a gate to get in.

EGAN: So if you were going to work in the receiving station, you didn't have to pass the security for the Yard?


E. BULZONE: No. No, they had their own security here.


E. BULZONE: No, it was a separate -- it was a separate thing.


EGAN: Did you go into the Navy Yard --


EGAN: -- ever, in the course of your --?

E. BULZONE: Not -- no. No. Not -- maybe I went there for an ID card or something like that, but I already -- I would have had one, and when I'd left, I'm -- but I went into a building, that time that I went there, after we moved here in nine -- you know, in 1957. I went over there maybe in '58 -- I don't know, after my daughter was born. Of course, she was born in April after we came here. But I went in the Navy Yard, and there were -- there were nice building -- there was a nice building I went into at that time.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: And I got a new ID card there.

EGAN: So when you were working at the receiving station, did you see ships? Were you a -- no?



EGAN: No? To the waterfront itself -- how much contact did you have with that?

E. BULZONE: Nothing. Nothing whatsoever.

EGAN: Did people from the Navy Yard come into the receiving station?

E. BULZONE: I suppose they did. I mean, uh -- I -- I -- if I had anything to do with them, I don't remember. I mean, it might have been Navy ships over there, you know. Small ships, maybe -- I don't know. They could have been in the Yard for repair or something. And naturally they would have come over, because we had a big ship service there.

EGAN: At the receiving station.

E. BULZONE: At the receiving station. Right.

EGAN: What was that -- the ship service center?

E. BULZONE: Uh, the ship service center was like a store. You could buy supplies, jewelry, uniforms, and stuff like that. It's like a PX -- if you're familiar with the Army's --

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: -- that's PX. In the Navy it was always ship stores. Now it's NEX -- 39:00Navy Exchange, so they call it NEX. Now my grandson is -- you know, I went to -- to Great Lakes -- what the heck was that?

SULLIVAN:Did someone knock?

[Interview Interrupted.]

E. BULZONE: Oh, that's her. She's fussing. She must have -- oh! Oh, Christopher, oh, my God! I was just talking about you!


C. BULZONE: [inaudible]


C. BULZONE: What's going on?

E. BULZONE: Oh, excuse me, Christopher. This -- these ladies are from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Memorial Historical Society.

C. BULZONE: Ah. It's nice meeting you ladies.


EGAN: Jenny.

E. BULZONE: That's my son -- my grandson Christopher. And they're asking me all about what I did over there, and --


E. BULZONE: I cannot even remember --

C. BULZONE: [inaudible] far back?

E. BULZONE: Oh, my God, I can't remember, Christopher.


E. BULZONE: And I was just asking about -- she asked me about what -- what a ship store was, and I was just saying, it used to be that, you know, what you call the NEX --

C. BULZONE: The NEX, yeah.

E. BULZONE: Yeah, the Navy Exchange, and now it's the Navy Exchange now. But they -- they sold -- you could buy, like -- it was like a drugstore, and...


C. BULZONE: Oh, yeah --

E. BULZONE: Clothing, and --

C. BULZONE: Now it's more like a -- yeah, I guess now it's a department store.

E. BULZONE: It's more like a department store?

C. BULZONE: Yeah. They got Coach bags --

E. BULZONE: But it was back then -- right.

C. BULZONE: All brand-name, uh --

SULLIVAN:Oh, really?

C. BULZONE: [inaudible] and perfumes and stuff --

E. BULZONE: [laughter] Really?

C. BULZONE: Yeah. Like, I can get DK, I could get, like, a clone that would be, like, sixty dollars in, in like Macy's or something for forty -- without the tax, too. So -- very every little bit counts.

E. BULZONE: Yeah. It's very economical for Navy -- for Navy -- unless, you know --


E. BULZONE: For people to shop there.


E. BULZONE: Right. Well, excuse me -- he went for a test -- how did you do? Did you get the --

C. BULZONE: Oh, yeah. I got -- I don't know what I did, but I did well on it. It was easy.

E. BULZONE: You did?

C. BULZONE: Yeah. It basically -- depending on the -- the -- the third-class exam is just a sign-in --


C. BULZONE: For my grade it is, but yeah.

E. BULZONE: Oh, yeah?


E. BULZONE: And you made it up there and back? He rode up with it.

C. BULZONE: I got to ride with him next Friday, too, so when I get off leave, so --

E. BULZONE: You're kidding.

C. BULZONE: Well, that's what I said. I turned to him, and I was like, "Look, hey, next Friday -- can I go grab a ride with you next Friday morning?" And I'll still report a day early, so I'll still get a day instead of going in.


C. BULZONE: He was, like, "I'm making the drive anyway, so what?" You know?

E. BULZONE: Oh. Okay.


C. BULZONE: Yeah, so --

E. BULZONE: Oh, well, great.

C. BULZONE: All right, well, let me let you guys get back to it.

EGAN: Good to meet you.

C. BULZONE: Nice meeting you as well.

E. BULZONE: [laughter] We won't be too long.

C. BULZONE: Please, don't come in. Go.

SULLIVAN:Hi, big dog. [laughter]

EGAN: That's why she was excited. She knew who was coming home.

SULLIVAN:Hi, big dog. [laughter]

E. BULZONE: She won't hurt you, she's just so -- just so -- just so friendly.

C. BULZONE: No, she won't at all.

SULLIVAN:Oh, I don't mind meeting her. I like dogs.

E. BULZONE: She's friendly.

EGAN: She's just happy to see you.

E. BULZONE: She's friendly.


E. BULZONE: But she'll try to jump all over you.

C. BULZONE: No, I'm going to get her out anyway. Come here. Come here. Come with me. Come on. Oh, are you -- I'm sorry.


EGAN: Sady is clearly a dog-lover.

C. BULZONE: Oh, yeah, I love my dog.

EGAN: Hey, there! Oh, she's so excited!

C. BULZONE: I'm sorry about that.

EGAN: Don't worry!

SULLIVAN:Oh, no, little lovely one.

C. BULZONE: Ah, that's my best friend. [inaudible] She's helped me out with life. Come outside. [

SULLIVAN:[laughter] Hi! Oh you're so good. You're so good.

EGAN: She looks strong.

E. BULZONE: [inaudible] -- get down.

C. BULZONE Come on.

E. BULZONE: You can go out. You can go out in a minute.


E. BULZONE: That dog drives me crazy.


E. BULZONE: She's so strong.


EGAN: That's a big dog. Yeah, she looks really strong.

E. BULZONE: And I can't walk her, you know?

EGAN: What kind of dog is that?

E. BULZONE: It's a pitbull. [laughter]

EGAN: A pitbull, oh my God. Wow.

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. That's my -- my uncle would leave his, uh, the Great Dane with my grandparents, and I would -- they would babysit me when I was a little kid, and they were like, "We don't know why we have this huge dog!"

EGAN: [laughter]

E. BULZONE: Sure. You were -- right.

SULLIVAN:Because, you know, the dog was, like, this big, and I was this big, and, you know, I was the kid from the daughter, and the dog is from the son, and they were just like, aaah!

EGAN: [laughter]

E. BULZONE: [laughter]

EGAN: Wow.

E. BULZONE: Oh, gosh. Okay.

EGAN: Um -- Okay. So the ships --

E. BULZONE: Um, I didn't know he was coming home this early. He's -- he's in the submarines.


E. BULZONE: And he just graduated, and, um, he's -- I'm -- now, and he'll be going on a submarine when he goes back.

EGAN: Wow.


EGAN: That's amazing. So the ship service center was a place people could buy things.


E. BULZONE: Right.

EGAN: So presumably they would come --

E. BULZONE: Right.

EGAN: And when --

E. BULZONE: They could go there and do shopping, or --

EGAN: And when you say your husband was the storekeeper, was that the store that he was --

E. BULZONE: No, no. He was in surplus. What they call the surplus sales.

EGAN: What is his name, your husband?

E. BULZONE: His first name's Charles.

EGAN: Charles.

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.

EGAN: Um --

E. BULZONE: No middle name.

EGAN: So, um -- And do you recall seeing people shop at that store? People come -- come to buy their --

E. BULZONE: Oh, yes. No, no. I mean, it -- we could, you know, we could go down there and shop for, you know, let's say -- like he says, it's just like a small department store -- a grocery store. You know, you could get snacks, you can get, uh, drugs -- drugs meaning, like, uh --

EGAN: Pharmacy.

E. BULZONE: Pharmacy, right. And, uh -- it was just -- you know, that was the 44:00type of store it was. So, but it was for Navy personnel. So civi-- well, no civilians. I mean, I'm sure there were civilian people there who came, but I mean, technically, it was sup -- it's for service personnel. They -- you know, that's the way, now, you have to have an ID card to shop in there. But once you shop there, they say, "We have to see your ID -- show your ID card," and we carry an ID card all the time in order to, you know, go in there. But no -- they had a nice store there.

EGAN: Would you shop there during your workday, or during a break, or --

E. BULZONE: Maybe, yeah.

EGAN: Or do you remember?

E. BULZONE: Oh, I probably could go down -- I mean, I probably could have shopped there, you know, any -- any time. And -- [inaudible].

EGAN: Do you remember, um, anything about the structure of the day? Did you -- 45:00what kinds of breaks you had?

E. BULZONE: I don't remember that.

EGAN: Do you remember where you ate lunch?

E. BULZONE: There must have been a cafeteria there. There must have been, of some kind. Before we get finished I'm going to call my friend, and I can ask him all those questions, and he can tell me in five minutes [laughter] everything that was there, everything that went on there. [laughter]

EGAN: Did he work in the same off-- um, in the receiving station also?

E. BULZONE: He worked in the same department with, uh, with my husband. Same department. He was a storekeeper too. [laughter]

EGAN: Did he have contact with the Navy Yard, do you know?

E. BULZONE: Oh, I don't know -- I don't think so. I don't think so.

EGAN: And you mentioned going to plays, things like that -- doing some cultural things.

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.

EGAN: Do you remember any -- anything in particular? Obviously the baseball game...

E. BULZONE: Yeah, right. [laughter] No, I don't remember any plays, but I know 46:00we used to, uh, but there was... was a place where service people hung out in Manhattan called Jolly Roger's. I can just, I can remember that, and I think somewhere around here there's pictures of us in that place. But, uh, we used to go --

EGAN: Do you remember where that was?

E. BULZONE: Somewhere in Manhattan, say Mid-Midtown Manhattan, I'm sure.

EGAN: Do you remember going there?


EGAN: What was it like?

E. BULZONE: Full of -- full of service personnel. It seemed like they all hung out there. [laughter]

EGAN: Was it a restaurant?

E. BULZONE: It was a -- well, I would say it's a bar. A lounge-type thing. I don't remember. I don't remember any -- anything -- eat there. I don't remember that, but I just remember hanging out there.

EGAN: Do you remember what you would do after work on a typical work day at the 47:00receiving station?

E. BULZONE: If we didn't go out, I guess we went back to the hotel.

EGAN: And again, when you say "we", any -- any particular --

E. BULZONE: Oh, there must have been other girls -- other people. I would -- I just cannot remember that. I just -- I just cannot remember -- I cannot remember any -- anybody. And there was a couple that we used to hang out with, and I don't know where she came from either. But I remember -- we used to go up to Lake George on weekends --

EGAN: With this couple?

E. BULZONE: With another couple, right.

EGAN: And where -- how did you get to Lake George?

E. BULZONE: We drove. I guess my husband had a car.


EGAN: After you and your husband married, where did you live?

E. BULZONE: Well, like I say, we lived on Carlton Avenue when we got married.

EGAN: Do you remember the address, or the cross-streets?

E. BULZONE: Somehow, five-two-oh Carlton Boulevard -- that seems like it. I know there was a cheese factory right across the street from us. I don't -- somebody told me that's not there anymore, because [laughter] -- but I remember -- I remember it. I don't know why. But we had that apartment, and like I say, he was sent to China for a year. So I stayed there for that year.

SULLIVAN:Was that in Brooklyn?

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.


EGAN: So that's Carlton Avenue. That's -- was that fairly near the receiving station?

E. BULZONE: You know, I'm not -- I'm not sure. I looked it up on the map a few 49:00times. I think it's -- is there a Greenpoint? Is that in that area? Some --

EGAN: Uh -- well, there's a Carlton Avenue that basically --

E. BULZONE: But something near the --

EGAN: Right near the Navy Yard. But --

E. BULZONE: There's the, uh, subway or something. Some street, uh, public thing runs along there, because it was here, and now we were on -- this was Carlton Avenue, and we were right, say, like in here. But I remember, it was either the highway or something --

SULLIVAN:Oh, Myrtle Ave? Was there the Myrtle Ave -- um --

E. BULZONE: Because I could get a subway -- I would just have to walk, like, a block or so from there and go into Manhattan. So I re--but I remember this public road -- I don't know if it's a highway. There's no upper subway on that area that I know of, is there?

SULLIVAN:There was a Myrtle -- there was an above-ground subway.

E. BULZONE: Oh, above-ground?


EGAN: Did it go to Manhattan?


SULLIVAN:I think so.

E. BULZONE: I don't know.

EGAN: Interesting. I didn't know that.

E. BULZONE: But I know there was something over there that you could not... in other words, this street was a dead-end street here, you know what I mean? And on this corner over here was this big cheese factory, and then there was just, you know, apartments along here. And we were sort of in from here. And I know if you had to park the car, you had to, you know, come this way, and you'd have to either go to the right or the left. 'Cause, this was a dead-end here.

EGAN: Huh. Interesting. And were you continuing -- were you working elsewhere?

E. BULZONE: I worked at -- I worked at Macy's department store.

EGAN: And where was that?

E. BULZONE: On 34th Street.


E. BULZONE: That's how I know the subway was right near there, because that's how I went to work.

EGAN: I see. Did it take you close to 34th Street -- the subway? Do you remember?


E. BULZONE: I guess so.

EGAN: And why did you switch jobs? Why did you leave the Navy?

E. BULZONE: Oh, when I got married, they discharged you then. Because they were getting -- you know, I mean, they -- people were, you know, people were -- that was after the War was over, and they were, you know -- so, uh -- and then they discharged you.

EGAN: So that was just automatic.

E. BULZONE: Automatic. Right.

EGAN: And what kind of work did you do at Macy's?

E. BULZONE: I worked, uh, selling, I guess. I was in the luggage department, I know. [laughter]

EGAN: Um, do you remember the end of the War? Do you remember that -- do you remember those days?

E. BULZONE: Well, I was at the Sampson then, when that happened.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: I don't remember too much about it. I guess we had celebrations up 52:00there, but, uh --

EGAN: What about at the re--at the receiving station? Do you remember people talking about what was going to happen, politics --?

E. BULZONE: No. Mm-mm. No. I don't remember anything like that. I guess we were -- we were young, we were having a good time, and [laughter] I -- [laughter].

EGAN: What about the -- do you remember anything about the ethnicities of the people that you worked with? Were they Jewish? Were they Italian? Were they -- where did they come from?

E. BULZONE: You mean, while I was in the Navy?

EGAN: Yeah. In the Navy, and then specifically in the receiving station?

E. BULZONE: No. That, uh -- no. See, where I came from, we did not di--you know, 53:00we were just all Americans. You know what I mean? Until after I got married and came into an Italian family, and, you know, whatever. You know, where we came from, we were just all people. All -- you know, because I'm, like, the fifth generation in America. Christopher?


E. BULZONE: On that desk in there is a coded message. I wanted to sh-- I wanted you to see that.

C. BULZONE: What's that? Cryptology?


C. BULZONE: What's that on the desk?

E. BULZONE: Yeah. Have you -- had you seen it before?

C. BULZONE: No -- [inaudible]

E. BULZONE: Oh. I just thought you might be interested in it, since you're going to be a radioman. [laughter]

C. BULZONE: Yeah. [inaudible] -- right?

E. BULZONE: No, I -- I don't. I mean, because like I say, I was Irish-American, 54:00my husband was Italian, and my f -- my best man was -- he's -- I think he's Polish or something, background. I mean, you know, we just never -- and I have never, you know -- never -- you know -- didn't really ever matter, or, you know, what nation--you know, really nationalities, or if you were African American or anything. We had one African American family when I grew up. He was the only one -- his father owned the shoeshine parlor. He went to school with my brother and played basketball with my brother and everything. We never -- you know, and as far as, you know -- we just never -- it just never occurred to us that -- you know, to discriminate. You know? What -- but don't forget that was fifty or sixty or, I mean, seventy years ago. [laughter] And we just didn't. I mean, you 55:00know, where I came from, and it never -- never was ever even brought to my attention until later on in years that people were that way. But --

EGAN: Do you remember -- were there African Americans working with you in the Navy and -- and the receiving station?

E. BULZONE: No, I don't remember any in Sampson working with me. There -- I just looked at the pictures in there and I didn't -- I didn't see -- I didn't notice any -- any, uh -- anybody. That, I -- I don't recall them.

EGAN: Are any of your pictures actually from the receiving station period?


EGAN: Do you have any?

E. BULZONE: Uh-uh.

EGAN: What about your wedding in the chapel?

E. BULZONE: I -- I just -- no. I have no -- I have no idea. And I -- I was so -- I was thinking just the other day, I don't know that there's any picture of that 56:00chapel at all. Because I thought that would be interesting, you know what I mean? And I -- I do -- I -- I don't -- I just -- no, I don't have any. Anywhere. I don't think. I mean, if I could dig out --

Because, um, we got married, and then we had a reception, but not really in -- in the hall or anything. We went back to my in-laws's -- my mother-in-law's apartment, and we had a family gathering there. And, um, I know somewhere there's pictures from there. But, um, the chapel -- I -- I don't recall ever seeing one from there.

EGAN: Where does your mother-in-law's family -- where did that family live?

E. BULZONE: 2nd Place in Brooklyn.


EGAN: Um --

E. BULZONE: It's on Smith Street. Smith and 2nd Place.

EGAN: Hmm. Sure. I know exactly that area.

E. BULZONE: She lived right on the corner house.

EGAN: And did they continue to live in that area?

E. BULZONE: Uh, his mother did, there, for some time. And his brother -- and then she passed away, and the brother moved here to Staten Island. So they're not, uh -- they're not there anymore. I haven't been back there in years. My daughter has a friend who lives sort of in that area, and she goes over there, and she said "We went by Grandma's old house, but it's still there on the corner." But, uh...

EGAN: Right on the corner of Smith and Second?

E. BULZONE: Smith and Second Place. Mm-hmm.

EGAN: Do you remember the address?

E. BULZONE: No -- forty-two? Comes to my mind -- forty-two? No, I don't have 58:00anything here. I could look up all this stuff, because I'm sure this stuff -- although when he, um -- he joined, they lived further down by where the Gowanus Parkway is --

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: -- where St. Stephen's Church is -- and when they tore it -- when they put that highway through there, they tore down the place where he was born and lived. And his mother bought this house up on Second Place at that time.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.


E. BULZONE: So, uh -- that's how they got -- come to there.

EGAN: OK. Do you remember, um, having any awareness at the receiving station of which ships were being launched or worked on?

E. BULZONE: No. No, I --

EGAN: Do you think you did -- do you think you were aware but have forgotten, or were not aware?

E. BULZONE: I just don't think I was aware, I don't think. I mean, I just don't -- you know -- since -- not have anything physically to go over in that area 59:00for, that I remember, anyway, but I could find out. I -- like I said, I could find out from somebody else, but it wouldn't be my -- you know, it wouldn't be) --

EGAN: Right, right.

E. BULZONE: I wouldn't know.

EGAN: It was -- you know, it was such a large ship building and ship repair center --

E. BULZONE: Right, exactly.

EGAN: I just wondered if people might have been talking about what was going on there.

E. BULZONE: Right. But if they did, it went out of my brain a long time ago. [laughter]

EGAN: And you mentioned that, you know, you guys were kids, basically, and having fun. Do you remember what other -- are there other kinds of things you did? You mentioned the Jolly Roger, and going to the game -- what other -- going to Lake George -- what other kinds of things did you do for entertainment?

E. BULZONE: Uh, I don't -- I don't -- I don't know what we did. Like I say, it was such a short time, because you know, we got there -- when I got there, and then -- and then I was discharged. And then he went away, and then, you know, 60:00then I stayed there by myself. And then he came -- and when he came back from China, he -- I went to Indiana, and he was coming to Indiana, and our best man was in Norfolk, and so we bypassed coming back to New York and went straight to Norfolk, and then we stayed there -- we -- we came back and took the stuff out of our apartment and moved down there. So like I say -- I don't -- I don't know what we did. I don't know. We went out every night. I, uh -- I don't supposed we did, but, you know, I guess we did something. But, uh -- no, no --

EGAN: Do you remember if you had a roommate at the hotel where you stayed?

E. BULZONE: I have no idea if I had a roommate. No. I hadn't -- I had -- I just 61:00cannot -- I've wracked my brain. I -- I thought about it. How did -- you know, we came from Sampson, and we came to the receiving station. I know other people came, because -- Sampson closed, and they transferred all of -- every -- all the, the last -- we were the last personnel in that section, because there was a hospital there. But we were not connected to the hospital at all. The hospital closed, I think, years after we left there. But the train station closed down. And all the personnel that was at the train station was sent to the receiving station in Brooklyn. That's how we got here. But now how many of us, or what, I have no idea -- no idea. No idea.

EGAN: What -- what did you wear to work in the office?

E. BULZONE: A uniform.

EGAN: Mm-hmm. What color was it?

E. BULZONE: We had navy blue, with white shirts.


EGAN: A skirt, or pants?

E. BULZONE: No pants. I don't -- at that time, I don't believe we had pants. It was always skirts.

EGAN: What about a hat?

E. BULZONE: [laughter] You want to see it? I'll -- [laughter] I'll show you. [laughter]

EGAN: [laughter]

E. BULZONE: My bones are getting old here.

EGAN: It's amazing she's -- she's 86. She's like Lucille.


EGAN: Amazingly. Just so youthful. We have to ask Danielle about the chapel.


SULLIVAN:Yeah, and it's funny --

EGAN: So interesting.

SULLIVAN:-- that this isn't -- that this is -- like, was blocked off from the rest of the area.

EGAN: I agree.

E. BULZONE: Here's the hat.

EGAN: Oh, my goodness!


EGAN: That's actually the hat?


EGAN: Wow.


EGAN: That's really great.

E. BULZONE: So you -- so you can see [inaudible] --

EGAN: So with the brim down --

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.


EGAN: So is that you?

E. BULZONE: Yeah. [laughter]

EGAN: Wow. That was a very nice looking uniform.

E. BULZONE: I have one in here. [laughter] I have -- had -- when my mother, um, she had -- it was at her house, so she -- my sister, she wants me to send them to the Historical -- I have a nephew who works at the Indiana Historical 64:00Society. He has for long years, you know.


E. BULZONE: And they have a, uh, Historical, uh, thing -- I belong to it, even though I'm here, but I just send them -- but my sister wants me to put my uniform together and send it there, and then they want to put it in --

SULLIVAN:That's a great idea.

E. BULZONE: I've never done it.


EGAN: Is that your sister?


EGAN: Is that your sister?

E. BULZONE: Mm-mm. That one? No, I don't know who that is.

EGAN: But is that -- that's not you.

E. BULZONE: No. Hm-mm.

SULLIVAN:Who were the other -- so this was -- you were part of the WAVES, right?

E. BULZONE: These -- yeah. Uh-huh. These were just girls that worked the same -- you know?

SULLIVAN:Who were other Navy WAVES?

E. BULZONE: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

SULLIVAN:What did it stand for? Does it stand for something?

E. BULZONE: Something, but I -- don't ask me.


EGAN: Is that a uniform also?


E. BULZONE: I guess it was. We had that --

EGAN: These are really wonderful pictures.

SULLIVAN:Is that your husband?

E. BULZONE: Yes -- no. My... this is all pre-- uh, pre-him. [laughter]


EGAN: I love that. But what is that building?

E. BULZONE: Well, this must be from Sampson.

EGAN: Oh, I see.

E. BULZONE: It's in the snow. God, it snowed up there. Oh, my goodness, it was -- Now, here was a summer uniform. It was a -- it was seersucker.


E. BULZONE: They were seersucker uniforms. Here's one again. I don't know that I have one of those in that trunks of stuff downstairs.


EGAN: I love the white shoes.

[Interview Interrupted.]

E. BULZONE: Excuse me.

EGAN: Wow, these are really fun.

E. BULZONE: Hello? This is Ellen. How can I help you?

EGAN: I love this one.

E. BULZONE: Oh, well, I'm trying -- I'm busy right now. I mean, if you want to call later on maybe I could help you, all right? Okay?

SULLIVAN: [inaudible] look at the shoes. That's gorgeous --

EGAN: This one is you, right?

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm -- mmmm, no. No, that's not me.

EGAN:So neither is you.

E. BULZONE: Neither one. Neither one.



EGAN:I'm assuming every picture has you in it, but -- [laughter]

SULLIVAN: This is a great one -- "out of bounds for all male personnel."


E. BULZONE: [laughter]

SULLIVAN: What would have been -- what areas would that have been true?

E. BULZONE: Well, I guess where our barracks were -- see, these are where our barracks, here. I know that, because of the long buildings. So they probably were not allowed to come, see, in this area over here.

SULLIVAN: Mm-hmm -- was there -- was there many women in the military at that time?

E. BULZONE: Well, I mean, I can sh -- go through them all -- these were some of the people I hung out with, we'll say. But, see, there's a number --


EGAN: Do you remember these people? Mary and --


EGAN: -- EJ?

E. BULZONE: No, I don't remember them at all anymore.

EGAN:Now, where do you think you -- what beach do you think you were on? This 68:00was all still Sampson?

E. BULZONE: Well, I would think so. Because see those barracks? That was the summer uniforms we had. This girl -- her name was Eileen, that I know. [laughter]

EGAN: [laughter]

E. BULZONE: That I can remember.

SULLIVAN:Was there a -- most of the women in the WAVES, were they from a certain area of the country, or were they from all over?

E. BULZONE: They were all from all over, because, uh, I know some of these, you know -- she was from -- I -- I just really can't remember. Seems to me like, um 69:00-- they came from all over.


EGAN: That's you, right?

E. BULZONE: Well, now, here, you can see, it says here -- Stone Harbor, New Jersey. Colorado. Bennington, Vermont. Brooklyn, New York. Washington, Rhode Island.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: Illinois. Pennville, Indiana. Fort Madison, Iowa. In that group.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: So they apparently... you know, came.

EGAN: So you became a chief petty officer.

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: Wow. And this is -- this is from the med chief.


EGAN: He had a special --

E. BULZONE: At a special dinner, like, you know.


EGAN: So this must have been right before you came here.

E. BULZONE: Right. And there's some of the personnel there.

SULLIVAN: Did you like the Navy?

E. BULZONE: Oh, I enjoyed it.


EGAN: You wanted it. You really sought it out.

E. BULZONE: Yeah, right. Right. Uh-huh. And then, see, we had hats like that.

SULLIVAN: Oh, those are cute. Would you -- when you get married, do you get automatically un-enlisted?

E. BULZONE: Well --

SULLIVAN:Would you -- if you could choose -- if the husband and wife could choose who un-enlists --?

E. BULZONE: Oh, yeah. No.


SULLIVAN:Was that -- was that [inaudible]?

E. BULZONE: No, it was. Right. Right.

SULLIVAN:So one person could stay and --?

E. BULZONE: The reason why I got out -- we knew he was being transferred, and, um, so... I elected -- you know, they gave you your choice. So I got out.


E. BULZONE: Now, on there, I can tell you when I joined the Navy. October the seventh, 1943.


E. BULZONE: And after four weeks of training at Huntington in New York City, she was sent to a yeoman school [laughter] in Stillwater, Oklahoma. She graduated from that school with a yeoman-third class rating. That's why I tease at him -- he's been in a whole year, and -- and he just went to take a third-class test. He went up to Groton, Connecticut this morning.

SULLIVAN:Oh, yeah. And so you did it in six months, it sounds like. [laughter]

E. BULZONE: Right. I tease him, right. I says, I made it -- [laughter]



EGAN: Is that -- do you think that, um, you and your husband were an influence on your grandson for joining up?

E. BULZONE: No, not really. He, um -- see, my son was in a car accident --

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: [inaudible] before that his mother and father divorced. And then when Christopher was maybe six, his father was in a car accident, and he was paralyzed from the neck down. But he was divorced from the mother at that time. So he lived for ten years. But then in the meantime, the children lived with the mother. The mother remarried, and, you know, how things happen, and everything.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: So he knew, you know -- you know, that his grandfather was -- because he was -- he was retired by this time -- by the time he was, you know -- 73:00but he's always wanted to -- he said, but his mother never would let him.

EGAN: To visit his dad?

E. BULZONE: Uh -- no, right. Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: He never -- anyway, but that's beside the point. But she would not let him. Didn't want him to enlist in the Navy.

EGAN: Oh, right.

E. BULZONE: He wanted to when he was younger. Because he's thirty-two years old.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: And that's old to be going into the service.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: But he made it. [laughter] I had to go to a congressman to get him in, but anyway, we did. But, no. His grandfather never -- you know -- of course, my husband died four -- it'll be four years this May. So -- but he called me one day, and he said, you know, and told me -- he wanted to come and live with me. So I said -- but he says, "I'm joining the Navy." So that's how it happened.

EGAN: Mmm.


E. BULZONE: But he seems to be doing all right. But of course, he's been -- he's known as, you know, that his grandfather was in the service, actually -- but 74:00Charlie had retired, actually, before he was even old enough to, uh, you know -- so I don't -- I don't know what, you know, might have had -- I don't know -- I think it was just his own idea. [laughter]


EGAN: Interesting. Yeah.

E. BULZONE: To do it. But -- oh, well, see, now, here's a group, so I guess there was quite a few people there.

EGAN: It looks like people having a lot of fun.

E. BULZONE: [laughter] That girl's name was Finnegan. Betty Finnegan.


E. BULZONE: And her name was MacInerney, and she came from Connecticut.

EGAN: And they called her Mac?

E. BULZONE: Yeah. I kept in touch with her for a few years afterwards, but uh -- 75:00one -- one time I was at a Navy reunion with my husband, and there was a WAVE -- a lady who'd been in the WAVES. She came from another area from where I came from. And so she says to me, "How many people do you keep in touch with from when --" And I looked at her and I says, "Nobody." Well, she ripped into me. "Why didn't you keep in touch?" "Well, I don't know." Oh, she was carrying on. I says, "Well, they got married, I got married, and, you know, you just don't come in contact with them."


E. BULZONE: What's this?

EGAN: Do you remember this -- this wedding?

E. BULZONE: No. No. No, I don't even know which ones were -- it looks like two of them got married.

EGAN: Yeah.

E. BULZONE: Oh. I don't remember.


SULLIVAN: Oh, this is the photo that's in the newspaper.

E. BULZONE: Right. Mm-hmm. Well, this was out -- this was an office. And let's -- see those things over there -- I know those were drafts that were... you know, we left the drafts and they went and posted them on bulletin boards so that everyone knew where they were going.

SULLIVAN: Was there any -- did people

[Interview Interrupted.]

to enable better situations or anything?

E. BULZONE: Oh, I don't remember about that. I don't remember. I don't remember about that.

EGAN:Mickey Finn.

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.

EGAN:Lots of Irish girls.

E. BULZONE: Right. Oh, she was Irish as Irish could be.


EGAN: With a name like Mickey Finn, I should hope so. [laughter]

E. BULZONE: [laughter] So I guess this is our graduating class.

EGAN: That's -- is that Mac?

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.

EGAN: Now, where are you in here?

E. BULZONE: Well, let me see. Here I am.


EGAN: Oh, there, right. Okay.

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm. This is the same picture, isn't it? I think?

EGAN: Hmm... no.

E. BULZONE: This girl has got her hands folded, and she doesn't have here -- yes she does.

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. And her thumb is up.

EGAN: Yeah but -- Mac is looking in a different direction.

E. BULZONE: Mmm. It's a different --

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. How long did it take everybody to do their hair, all curled like that?

E. BULZONE: [laughter] I think we had all rollers in those days. We didn't have any curling iron.

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. So would you --

[Interview Interrupted.]

SULLIVAN: These are great photos.

EGAN: They are really fun.

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.

EGAN: Oh, the hat.

E. BULZONE: See, now, this is a photo of that same thing --

EGAN: Oh, the dinner.

E. BULZONE: -- where they made -- where they made cheese.


E. BULZONE: And this is us, too. And I wonder who that was. I swear, there's the 78:00rest of that wedding --


E. BULZONE: I have no idea.

EGAN: So one is the bridesmaid, it looks like.

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm. I have no idea who that was.

SULLIVAN:Is that the groom? He looks so young. [laughter]

E. BULZONE: This is when I graduated high school. [laughter]


EGAN: Wow. That is fun.

SULLIVAN:Was this your whole class?

E. BULZONE: Yes. [laughter]

SULLIVAN:Oh, that's tiny. [laughter]

EGAN: Wow. Many more men.

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.

SULLIVAN:Do you keep in touch with any of these people?

E. BULZONE: Some I do -- you know, I do, but, um -- they've all sort of moved 79:00around. Him -- now, I was good friends with his sister. That boy -- in fact, I used to go out with him. And his sister and I were good friends. So I -- I mean, you know, as I say, this guy used to come around, for a visit -- see my mother once in a while. But I don't know, really, uh I think this boy's passed away. It's the girls -- I don't keep in touch with any of them. Now, if I'm not mistaken, that is the commander who married us.


E. BULZONE: Yeah. I'm pretty sure -- sure it is.


EGAN: Do you remember his name?

E. BULZONE: Mclaughlin.

EGAN: Good job.

E. BULZONE: Just came in my mind.


E. BULZONE: Commander Mclaughlin.

SULLIVAN:Wow. Where was he from?

E. BULZONE: I have no idea where he is from, but I'll tell you a funny story about him. Because I'm Protestant and my husband was Catholic, so we had to go see him. So he says, "Oh, you've got to learn the catechism and go do all this" and everything like that. So I decided not to. So he says, "If you don't want to, you don't have to -- don't do it." So he didn't. So he says, "Mixed marriages never last."

EGAN: Huh?

E. BULZONE: So years later down, when my husband -- he says, "If I see that Commander Mclaughlin," he says, "I'll tell him, 'Yeah, mixed marriages never last.'" [laughter]


E. BULZONE: You know what I mean? Because we were married all those years. [laughter]


EGAN: How many years were you married when your husband passed away?

E. BULZONE: Well, we were -- '46 -- he died, um, um, '05. So fifty-one years.


EGAN: Wow. Amazing.


E. BULZONE: So --[inaudible]

EGAN: You proved him wrong.


E. BULZONE: That was something else. I have no idea what that was, but --

SULLIVAN:So who came to your wedding?

E. BULZONE: I was married in Brooklyn, and my mother, who had never been out of Indiana in her life -- never on a train or anything else -- she came. [laughter]


E. BULZONE: So on our honeymoon, we went to Indiana, and mentioned that -- oh, my family. But it was just my mother.

EGAN: And that's when your siblings met your husband?

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm. Right. Mm-hmm.

EGAN: What did they think of you marrying someone not from Indiana?

E. BULZONE: Well, you know --

EGAN: And a Catholic?

E. BULZONE: It was sort of strange. I was just looking at this -- these guys must have made valentines.



E. BULZONE: These guys were from Brooklyn.

SULLIVAN:I can tell by the barrel. [laughter]

EGAN: [laughter]

E. BULZONE: I don't remember their names for anything, but --

SULLIVAN: These are so cool.

E. BULZONE: But they were wild guys, like --

SULLIVAN:Oh. [laughter]

E. BULZONE: Because, you know, for --

EGAN: That is hilarious.

E. BULZONE: But --

EGAN: Oh, my gosh. They had fun.

E. BULZONE: Yeah. [laughter]

SULLIVAN:These are so neat.

EGAN: This is -- they probably put effort into this. [laughter] Were these all different years, or was this one year?

E. BULZONE: I have no idea now. In fact, I hadn't had this thing out for a long time. And those were three fellows. This man came from Fort Wade, Indiana -- that I remember. Now, I think this man came from Brooklyn. I don't have any idea where that man came from.

EGAN: Wow. [laughter] They were a couple of jokers, those guys.


E. BULZONE: [laughter]

SULLIVAN:And they were -- were they Navy people?

E. BULZONE: Yeah. Mm-hmm. They were up there. I don't know how this picture got in here, but --

EGAN: When you moved on to your job at Macy's, do you remember comparing the two jobs at all, and --?

E. BULZONE: Well, that was just sort of something to keep me busy, you know? It wasn't anything. Because I went on from there, and we -- when we went to Norfolk, I worked in the Navy Yard there, civil service, for years before my son was born.


E. BULZONE: And I've always worked as, you know, in -- in personnel or 84:00administration or whatever like that. So that was --

EGAN: So that was a little --

E. BULZONE: It was just a --

EGAN: -- bit of a departure for you.

E. BULZONE: It was just a little -- just a little thing.

EGAN: Yeah.

E. BULZONE: [laughter]


EGAN: I feel like I've asked most of my questions, so if you have -- if I've got gaps --


EGAN: By all means, jump in.

SULLIVAN:I have some -- I wrote some --

EGAN: Great.

SULLIVAN:-- little details. Those photos are so neat.

EGAN: Oh. It's amazing how --

E. BULZONE: What's up, Ty? Huh? What's up?

EGAN: You get such a sense of the -- the feeling of the moment --

E. BULZONE: Huh. How are you, huh?

EGAN: -- in a picture.

E. BULZONE: Here's what I was telling him. This is -- my husband was on the Lamson at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed, and he was on a ship. And he had clearance for -- and I don't know how this got copied. [laughter] But he's 85:00always had it. So I saw that -- and I was showing it to him, because he's in radio. And he will be doing the breaking -- messages, and this and that.

EGAN: Right.


E. BULZONE: But I thought it would be interesting for him to see that.

EGAN: Do you -- can you read it?

E. BULZONE: No, I have no idea what it says. But it says, "Seize the offensive operation against Japanese forces -- continue the searches." Because what happened -- the night before, as he tells the story, um, this ship and a carrier and some destroyers, they took them out of Pearl Harbor. And they were on the outskirts. So they were not in the -- if you've ever been there; I don't know if you've been there.

EGAN: To Pearl Harbor?

E. BULZONE: Uh-huh.

EGAN: A long time ago.

E. BULZONE: Right, you know how the circle comes around, and the ships rolling 86:00in, there's sort of an opening in here -- well, they were out here when this happened over here. But somehow --

EGAN: Wow.

E. BULZONE: Yeah. So he's always had [inaudible].

EGAN: That's amazing.

E. BULZONE: He'd come up with everything from -- with so much stuff.

SULLIVAN:That's a -- well, that's a good thing to keep on it -- to hold onto.

E. BULZONE: I know. I know. But then what do you do with it?


E. BULZONE: And then -- I mean, I have one daughter, and she -- she was in Manhattan, and I say, I have all this stuff --

EGAN: She says, no!

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm. It'll go in the dumpster, no doubt. [laughter]

EGAN: Well --

SULLIVAN:Archives, archives. You can donate to an archive.


SULLIVAN:The Brooklyn Historical Society -- if, you know, there's enough Brooklyn collection, they -- they take in archives that have whole ranges of stuff.

E. BULZONE: Yeah. Well, like I say, he -- I have pictures -- he -- he took 87:00pictures from every -- everyplace. He was in China, and then he was in the Mediterranean back and forth, to the Marines back and forth -- there were six month trips. He was at Guantanamo Bay. He used to do -- be -- do the money -- took the money down to pay the crew. And, you know, he's -- he had been -- he had been all over the world, really. So then when he retired we started a travel business, so -- [laughter]


EGAN: Perfect.

E. BULZONE: Where he hadn't been then, he went later. [laughter]


EGAN: When did he retire? What year?

E. BULZONE: 1961.

EGAN: Okay.

E. BULZONE: 1961.

SULLIVAN:So he was in the Navy until '61?

E. BULZONE: He was -- he did twenty-one years.


E. BULZONE: Did twenty-one years.

[Interview Interrupted.]


-- come back to me any better than it does, I swear --

EGAN: You've remembered a lot.

SULLIVAN:You have -- great. Yeah.

E. BULZONE: I, uh -- all I can say, but, uh -- I have the, the skirt and the jacket. If you see -- I probably can't even get my arms in the jacket. [laughter]

EGAN: You were really slim. I noticed that in the pictures. You were very petite.

E. BULZONE: [laughter] Oh, my God. But as I say, my sister sent the -- she gave it just to me. She said, "Now, put that with --" 'cause she knows I have the uniform, I have all the buttons and everything. And she says, "Put that with it and then send it." And I said, "Oh, all right, I'll do that." But I haven't done it. [laughter]

SULLIVAN:Yeah, you should.

EGAN: It's wonderful that you have all that stuff.

E. BULZONE: Yeah. Like I say, my nephew -- he worked for the Indiana Historical 89:00Society, so I guess they were doing a project of some kind -- I don't know. Writing about all the veterans from the state of Indiana. He called me up and said, "Aunt Ellen, you have to send me --" So I sent him stuff -- when I joined, how long I was in. I don't -- [laughter] But it was not a lengthy thing. I guess they were just getting names and putting it together, of all the service people.

EGAN: Hmm.


E. BULZONE: But... and like I say, that's -- that's the story. [laughter]

SULLIVAN:If you don't mind, I have a few just little detailed questions that I took notes as --

E. BULZONE: Okay. Right.

SULLIVAN:So they're -- they're going to kind of bounce around a bit --


SULLIVAN:-- if that's Okay. But they're just little details that I was curious about. Um -- I wondered -- can you tell us more about your friend that you 90:00joined up with?

E. BULZONE: I don't know. She was just from that area. And like I say, I come from a rural area. I worked in, see, a town of Portland, which was a small farming -- you know, it's farming country out there. She -- I don't know what she did, tell you the truth. But she came from the city, that's -- you know, that town. It's considered a city, I think. I came from a small town. But I don't know. Her name was Helen -- Helen, Helen. Helen something.

SULLIVAN:How did you meet?

E. BULZONE: I don't know. I don't know, uh -- I don't know how. I don't think that she was, like, a bosom pal of mine or anything, you know what I mean?

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: And, uh -- I did -- I -- that I had -- I do -- I do not remember.


EGAN: So she wasn't someone that you had grown up with.

E. BULZONE: No, no. Because I come from the country; I went to a different school; and in fact I remember -- fifth -- you know -- all those years ago, there was not, you know -- we -- well, we got fifteen, sixteen years old -- we didn't have a car to go buzzing around in like these kids today do. [laughter]


E. BULZONE: I mean, we had to go -- on a Saturday night, it was a big deal if we went to town on Saturday night and went to an ice cream parlor and had ice cream and stayed maybe until 9:30 or something like that. And, you know, Father told you, he'd be on this corner and pick you up, and that was it. You know?

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: But, no, I don't remember -- I don't have any idea. I don't have any idea. And I don't know what she became. I don't know if she was a yeoman, like me or what, that I don't know.

SULLIVAN:And why were you -- why were you interested in the Navy?


E. BULZONE: I have no idea. I just -- just came into my brain, I guess. And I decided it's something I wanted to do.

SULLIVAN:Were you -- I mean, being from a small town, and a farming town, I imagine that, that might have been scary the first -- you know -- going right -- signing up as -- young -- and

E. BULZONE: Right. Well, I --

E. BULZONE: I imagine it was, you know. Would you like more to drink, or --?

EGAN: I'm fine, thank you.

E. BULZONE: No? Okay. I imagine it was, but see, I was not -- I was twenty, twenty-one by that time -- twenty-one, something like that.


E. BULZONE: Twenty, twenty-one. So I you know, it, uh -- it wasn't that I was seventeen or eighteen years old that -- uh, and I had been working in this office, and I had my own apartment in this city. [laughter] And, uh, so --


SULLIVAN:Where was -- where was your apartment? Where were -- you were in Indiana at that time?

E. BULZONE: Oh, yeah. Mm-hmm.

SULLIVAN:But what -- what city in Indiana?

E. BULZONE: Oh. Well, like I say, I come from Pennville --


E. BULZONE: Which is a -- maybe this woman's [inaudible] -- that's all right. See, say it's a small town here, and then this -- the center of the -- the whole area, the city, was -- is -- Portland. And then there's small towns, you know, around, you know, like this.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: Well, I happen to come from this small town over here. But we would go here, and then we would meet kids maybe from over here, or this high school -- because these were high schools -- you know, there were high schools around, and we always had basketball. I mean, Friday night was basketball, and of course Indiana's known for basketball. I mean, if you -- my brother played basketball, and we always went to basketball games and things like that. So that was our recreation, to Saturday night, get into Portland, and --


EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: Sit around and have ice cream and walk up and down -- oh, my gosh. So we, you know -- we'd just -- we'd just have fun. I mean, there was never -- none of this, uh, hate stuff or anything like that, you know what I mean? Everybody just hung out together. But ice cream parlor days is not, you know -- I mean, maybe they had a theater; if you wanted to go see a movie you had to go into this -- to Portland to go to the movies.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: Okay? So that was our recreation. Really, I mean -- that's what we had to do. That's all there was to do. And like I say, at that age, we never had cars in that time to go, um, cruising around or anything. [laughter]

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. So when you went to -- after high school, you moved to Portland.

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.

SULLIVAN:Um, and you were living on an apartment on --

[Interview Interrupted.]

E. BULZONE: Well, on my own -- I told you this boy that I was friendly with -- 95:00his -- this is his sister. By this time she was married, and she had a house, and it had an apartment upstairs. So I lived upstairs in an apartment upstairs.


E. BULZONE: And then --

SULLIVAN:Was that -- that seems like it, um, like it wouldn't be the usual thing for a -- a young woman from a small town to get her own apartment at that young age, I'd think.

E. BULZONE: Well, like I say, she -- this girl -- like, out there, this farm. Say this is a big area here, and here's a farm, and there's a farm over here and a farm over here. Well, say we lived here, and her mother lived here, so it was really family, in a way. And I went to -- her brother was in the same class with me; we all rode the school bus together.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: So it was not me from the country going into a small town, you know, to live. It was more -- more, you know -- you just can't say family, but yes, in 96:00a way, it was. Because we had gone to school together for years, and it was just -- and it was not really far. I mean, maybe -- it was from here to the other side of the island, you know, this area here -- maybe ten miles.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: To -- so it was not that I was, like, say, if you would go from New York to Philadelphia or something like that, but nothing like that.


E. BULZONE: It was just a local -- a local thing. So it wasn't -- And I went home on weekends or whatever, and I worked in -- in the courthouse. [laughter] And so that's why it was not really a big deal. You know. It was a big deal, really, in -- in those days, but it would have been -- you know, it was nothing -- it would have been nothing today. I mean, like -- my daughter has an apartment in the city, since she's been way younger than I was when I was -- but 97:00like I say, times were different then.

SULLIVAN:Yeah, yeah.

EGAN: Mmm.


SULLIVAN:Did you -- was there -- were you making a choice not to live on a farm?

E. BULZONE: Not really. It was just that that was convenient -- because I had no way of getting to work, because, you know, there's no bus system or anything like that. So in order for me to work, I had to, you know, more or less -- you know, it was sort of -- if you're working you're going to have to do that, and being she got married and she had this big house and she had the apartment, I mean, that was convenient for me.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: And the answer -- you know, I mean, we knew -- we knew each other, but that was -- that was ideal.

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: I was lucky.

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. Yeah, that sounds like a good setup. Do you remember, then, when you -- so when you joined the Navy, what was your first impression when you 98:00got to New York?

E. BULZONE: I was flabbergasted. I -- because I had never -- and I'll tell you another story. My mother had a friend -- my mother and father -- and they were -- it was a doctor. And they had -- they lived in New York. And don't ask me where, but I'll never forget. She -- her name was Roberta. She told my mother, you know, she wanted to get in touch with me, and she wanted to have me over her house for dinner. So [laughter]here's me -- a country hick, like, you know -- I'd never been in a big residential apartment building, let alone in New York. So she gave me the address, and I don't know how I got there, but I did. She met me downstairs in this big lobby, and then we had to go up in the elevator, and I thought, "Oh, my God," you know. Because I had never -- never even seen anything 99:00like that, you know. Because, like I say, back in those days, you just didn't -- you know, you just didn't travel like that. Whether you couldn't afford to or whatever -- you know.


E. BULZONE: So anyway, Berta, she had me for dinner, and I'll never forget that -- I went up in the elevator -- oh, I thought to myself, you know, I says, "Oh, my God," you know. And it was a small apartment in this apartment building, and that's -- that's one of the -- that's one of the things I remember from Hunter College. [laughter] Going to her house for dinner. That was a big deal for me. [laughter] And in a big apartment. Going up in the elevator, and everything like that. But, uh -- otherwise, I don't -- you know, I don't remember anything of -- I don't remember -- that's funny. I don't remember what we did. I guess we had to study. They must have made us study something, but I haven't -- I don't -- I have no idea. I don't -- I don't have any -- anything from that time, except 100:00there is a picture -- we marched -- I don't know. I often wonder -- now, if this was in September, I don't know what -- we would have been marching in a parade. And they took an aerial view of us -- this class marching --

SULLIVAN:So this would have been all women -- all -- all Navy WAVES.

E. BULZONE: Oh, yes. It was all -- all Navy WAVES.


E. BULZONE: And now I don't know where that picture is, and I don't know, but I know my mother had it. And I know -- but here -- that's what all of these people -- so I had to draw a picture of me, because I happened to know where I was in the parade.


E. BULZONE: I -- I [inaudible] the picture the last time I saw it -- I don't know, maybe my sister has it -- I had a big circle drawn around --

EGAN: [laughter]

E. BULZONE: -- Sarah. This is me. [laughter]


E. BULZONE: So I know I marched in a parade at some point.


E. BULZONE: I don't know where -- I have no idea. [laughter]


EGAN: Do you actually remember the parade, or just the picture?


E. BULZONE: No, I just remember that picture.

EGAN: Yeah.

E. BULZONE: I don't remember the parade at all, you know?


E. BULZONE: I had -- I mean, I know I did. But I've seen that picture. [laughter]

SULLIVAN:Everybody -- all the -- all the WAVES, do you think, were people -- were women joining because of the war effort, or because it was an exciting option, or --?

E. BULZONE: Well --

SULLIVAN:Why were -- why were people wanting to join?

E. BULZONE: I would -- I would think -- because it wasn't near, you know, with -- well, maybe it was -- I -- I don't -- I can't say that, you know what I mean? Because in '43, it was still, you know -- So maybe it was you know, they wanted to not work in a factory or something like that, to participate or to further the war effort, you know what I mean? But I -- I did it because I thought it would be an interesting, you know -- uh, and I'm trying to think -- I wonder how 102:00-- I just -- I have no idea. There's nobody to ask anymore because my mother -- my mother's dead, and there's nobody -- I said to my sister, I says, "Gosh, I'm getting to be the old person, and I can't be

[Interview Interrupted.]

find out anything from." [laughter]

SULLIVAN:[laughter] Yeah.

E. BULZONE: I can't re--I have no idea how or where I went to join or what -- what I did to join, even. I have no -- I have no -- I have no idea. I have no idea. But I just -- you know, at the time I thought it was something to do. And like I say, they did not -- my family didn't object to it.

[Interview Interrupted.]

E. BULZONE: Excuse me. Ty, quiet. Quiet.

SULLIVAN:Do you think -- did you have to get permission from your parents to join?

E. BULZONE: No, no.

SULLIVAN:No. So you were old enough to --

E. BULZONE: I was old enough that -- no. Huh-uh.


SULLIVAN:No. Um -- My other -- my other question was about the receiving station. Just to have -- because I don't know the Navy very well. Is it more that people are coming to the receiving station when they're not on duty kind of thing? Like, it's a more casual atmosphere, versus --?

E. BULZONE: Yes. Oh, yes. Right. It was not, uh -- it was not, um -- there was a lot of activity in and out, you know what I mean? Like I say, um -- because I don't think there was, like, um, this paid -- like this postage, you know, store -- I don't think there was one in the Navy Yard. I think in the receiving station was the only store, do you know what I mean? And there was, um, a 104:00uniform shop there, and they could get -- you know, get -- have uniforms made, and tailor-made, and stuff like that, that -- you know, it was sort of, I think, like a big de--you know, it was like a big department store in that sense, too, besides the -- po--you know, the ship service. And it was quite, uh, quite a bit of activity. And like I say, I know these people came here, and I think they got mustered out. I think that must have been what we did, you know what I mean? Because, uh --

[Interview Interrupted.]

No, no, Ty. Get down. Get down.


E. BULZONE: Ty, come away.

EGAN: He's as big as I am. [laughter]


E. BULZONE: Come over here. Come over here.

SULLIVAN:So they must have been --

E. BULZONE: Stay down.

SULLIVAN:It must have been --

E. BULZONE: Sit. Sit. Sit, Ty. Ty. Sit. Otherwise you'll have to -- otherwise you have to go downstairs.


SULLIVAN:[laughter] So that -- some -- I'm just thinking in terms of an atmosphere, like, in other parts of the Navy Yard, people might be...

E. BULZONE: Maybe...

SULLIVAN:"Oh, this is -- I have a long day of work, I'm not so happy," or, like...

E. BULZONE: Well, that's what I was going to say --

SULLIVAN:"Oh, I have to go someplace I don't want to go, but --"

E. BULZONE: See, I don't know, because those -- those had to be shipyard workers over there.


E. BULZONE: Compared to us, who were in the service on the -- in the receiving station.


E. BULZONE: And they were not regulated, you know what I mean, to say -- they worked over there. They did their job, they went home, and that was it. Where we were sort of -- not confined, but I mean, we had criteria to meet. In other words, you know, we had to come to work and, uh, you know, that -- that was it. But I don't remember any -- we didn't -- we didn't punch no time card or anything. But, I mean, when you're t-- when your duty's -- when your duty's nine to five, you'll be there nine to five. If you were standing a watch from, uh, 106:00you know, in the evening to -- of course, we didn't do that in the receiving station. But in Sampson, we used to have to stand watch. And, you know -- like, in the barracks you would have people, you know, checking new people coming in, if people went out for the night, come back in. In other words, that was our duty -- like, we called it a duty station, you know. And we would do that, but we had nothing like that in the receiving station. I mean, it was more open, I mean, more, you know --


E. BULZONE: And, you know -- but like I say, I can find out -- because I know this friend of mine, he -- he know--he was stationed there, he was there when we got there. And like I say -- or when I got there. Because he and Charlie both were there when I got there. And they ran this small -- what we call the small stores. [laughter]

SULLIVAN:What were the small stores?

E. BULZONE: Well, the small stores -- it's what I was saying. They sold it -- 107:00they were getting rid of furnitures and typewriters, and they were bringing in -- small places, they must have closed down. Like, my husband was stationed on Fisher's Island, up by Connecticut. Well, they closed that down. Well, all the gear and everything that was at that station had to be sent to be gotten rid of by the Navy.

SULLIVAN:Oh. So was it sold to civilians?

E. BULZONE: Uh, I -- I think it was.


E. BULZONE: I think they had -- I think they had sales, or -- I don't remember now.


E. BULZONE: But Ray would know, because, you know, he knows -- he -- I talk to him every -- every once in a while, we talk about the receiving station. [laughter]

SULLIVAN:What's his name?

E. BULZONE: His name is Ray Feltz.

SULLIVAN:Ray Feltz? And he -- was he the guy who you said was your best man?

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.


E. BULZONE: Yeah. Right. And he remembers -- he calls me up and says, "Remember what we did?" and I'll say, "Criminy, Ray, I forgot all about that." [laughter]



E. BULZONE: I don't remember.

SULLIVAN:Where does he live right now?

E. BULZONE: He lives in Florida.

SULLIVAN:Oh. His name rings a bell. I feel like -- is that maybe how we got in touch?

E. BULZONE: I don't know.

SULLIVAN:I feel like somebody has talked to Ray Feltz.

E. BULZONE: Oh, my God. If they've talked to him, then they -- they know more about the receiving station than the -- than I ever even knew.

SULLIVAN:Oh, but this is the -- but that's -- I -- I'm not sure. But that's -- what we want is more the personal story, so it's good to have everybody's perspective.

E. BULZONE: Oh, yeah, right. Right.


E. BULZONE: Oh, he could -- he can tell you... [laughter] I -- I don't know. If -- see if you find his name --


E. BULZONE: Because he -- he can -- and he loves to talk about all these things. And he remembers them. That's -- and he's way older -- way older than me. I mean, he -- golly, his birthday's next week. He's going to be ninety-three.


EGAN: Wow. That's amazing.

E. BULZONE: And he remembers.

EGAN: So he might be a good person to interview.



E. BULZONE: He came -- he came from the Bronx.

SULLIVAN:Oh. But now he's in Florida?

E. BULZONE: Right. Lord, may he --

SULLIVAN:How did you -- I mean, I know that you met at the -- through the Navy, but how did you actually meet him? Like, do you remember...?

E. BULZONE: Oh, I told you -- meet who, Ray?

SULLIVAN:Ray, yeah.

E. BULZONE: Oh, he was a fr--he and Charlie were together, you know what I mean?

SULLIVAN:Oh, so they were already friends.

E. BULZONE: Say, they were already the -- they were both there when I came there.


E. BULZONE: And they both were working in what we call the small stores -- it was down in the basement, that's why I'm pointing down in the basement.


E. BULZONE: So they were already there, and --

SULLIVAN:Was it in the basement of the receiving station?

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.




E. BULZONE: So that's what --

SULLIVAN:So that's interesting. So maybe civilians were coming through --

E. BULZONE: Well, could be.


E. BULZONE: Because I don't know -- he could tell you. Oh, my God.

EGAN: It would be interesting to find out.


E. BULZONE: But -- no, see, he and Joey were friends before I arrived.



EGAN: And you could -- you could put us in touch with him, it sounds like.

E. BULZONE: Oh, yes, I could.

EGAN: Ray Feltz. That would be great.

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. And so -- can you tell us more about your wedding again? Just about, like, sort of -- you wake up in the morning and it's the day you're getting married?

E. BULZONE: Oh. [laughter] Well, sort of like that. [laughter]


E. BULZONE: Then I had to call my family, and my father. Ooh! You know, because my husband's Italian, and like I say, I'm fifth-- I'm like fifth-generation -- out there, and we didn't know Italians from -- well, we knew Black from White, but other than that, ethnic -- that never entered our, "Well, I, you know, marrying an Italian and he's Catholic?" And we were all Protestants, but -- that was going to do it, so, I mean, you know -- but it turned out -- you know, so happily, it turned out all right. But anyway, like I say, my mother came; my 111:00father did not come, but my mother came.

SULLIVAN:Did he come because of -- because it was hard to travel, or because he was opposing?

E. BULZONE: Uh, it was a -- no, not that he opposed it. He just -- he couldn't come to New York.


E. BULZONE: But -- but my mother was coming whether or not. So my sister-in-law, Charlie's sister, was maid of honor. And that was all. There were just the four of us.


E. BULZONE: And, um --

SULLIVAN:So there was you and Charlie and your mom --

E. BULZONE: Yeah. And --

SULLIVAN:Was your mom there for the wedding ceremony?

E. BULZONE: Oh, yeah. Mm-hmm.

SULLIVAN:And then Ray Feltz and --

E. BULZONE: And my sister-in-law, Katie.


E. BULZONE: And, uh, so that was the wedding party. And my mother came, and she stayed with my mother-in-law -- no, she stayed with my sister-in-law, Mary. And, uh...

SULLIVAN:In Brooklyn?

E. BULZONE: In Brooklyn.


E. BULZONE: And my sister-in-law lived with -- she lived, at that time, I think, on Henry Street.



E. BULZONE: And so then, like I say, after the ceremony --

SULLIVAN:And you were married by Mclaughlin.

E. BULZONE: By the commander.


E. BULZONE: And we went to the Navy Yard. Then we came back to my mother-in-law's house, and his sisters and brothers and -- you know, his immediate family and his old schoolteacher -- [laughter] Her name was Miss Carbury [phonetic] -- [laughter] she came. And, ah -- until a few years ago -- she bought a bottle of champagne. I still had that bottle of champagne. I finally threw it out.

SULLIVAN:Wow. [laughter]

E. BULZONE: [laughter] And, um --

SULLIVAN:Were you in -- were you in uniform?


SULLIVAN:Was your husband in uniform?

EGAN: Mm-hmm?

E. BULZONE: You want to see the picture?

EGAN: Yes, absolutely.


E. BULZONE: You've been here awhile -- I look at the time, and I wonder you people -- the time all you have to spend --


E. BULZONE: -- on something like this.

SULLIVAN:Oh, watch the -- watch the table.


E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.

SULLIVAN:Are you Okay?

EGAN: Yeah, I think as long as we don't get lost coming back, I'll be fine.


EGAN: It would be great if I were back by about 4:30.


EGAN: But, you know, I didn't want to -- I also didn't want to -- I feel like we're here, let's do it.

SULLIVAN:Okay. Okay.

EGAN: I have a little wiggle room, because I can always -- I'm supposed to pick up my son at science class, but our babysitter will be around, so I can contact her if I need to.



E. BULZONE: You know, I haven't looked at this in a long time. Look how ancient it is. There might be pictures for -- hmmm. So that's Ray, and that's my sister-in-law.


SULLIVAN:Do you remember where the photos were taken? Were they --

E. BULZONE: No. I suppose it's in the front of this -- probably -- somewhere.

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. Where did you -- where did you get your dress?

E. BULZONE: Oh, my sister-in-law took me to some bridal place in --

SULLIVAN:In Brooklyn?



E. BULZONE: Now, there is -- no, this is -- Second Place. That's the --

EGAN: That's the brownstone.

E. BULZONE: My mother-in-law's --


E. BULZONE: My mother-in-law's house.

EGAN: Ray looks like such a friendly guy.

E. BULZONE: Oh, he's really something else. That's my mother.



E. BULZONE: That's my mother. And this was nieces of Charles. That's one of his sisters there.

EGAN: How many siblings, um, did Charles have?

E. BULZONE: Uh -- Frankie, Ralphie, and Tony -- three brothers. Maggie, Mary, and Katie -- and three sisters.

EGAN: Wow.

E. BULZONE: And I don't know -- you can't see too much from that, but that was there, and --

SULLIVAN:This was inside the chapel.

EGAN: Inside the chapel.

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm.

SULLIVAN: Do you remember, how did that -- how did it work? Did you have to reserve it? Were there a lot of people -- like, was it hard to get a date in the chapel?

EGAN:Here it -- here it --

E. BULZONE: No, no. There it --


EGAN:It -- it looks like the chapel is inside a hospital. Because here, this says "Ear, Nose, and Throat Department."

E. BULZONE: You're kidding.

SULLIVAN:Oh, yeah.

EGAN: It -- it must be in the hospital.

SULLIVAN:So in that big marble hospital. Yeah.

EGAN: Amazing. Yeah, that's the answer. You were in a hospital.

SULLIVAN:Who are these guys?

E. BULZONE: Okay, now, this is Charlie's sister -- that's his nephew. Both of those boys.


E. BULZONE: And grew up to be with AT&T -- he passed away just recently. But, um --

EGAN: Is this coming out of the place where you were married?

E. BULZONE: Right. It has to be.

EGAN: See, that looks like the hospital to me.

SULLIVAN:Yeah. Because it's -- it -- it has this -- this big --

E. BULZONE: Well, with this over here, I mean, I never -- you know, like I say...

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: And, see, there's the steps.


E. BULZONE: I guess where we came down.

EGAN: I think I know exactly where this is. I think this is facing that monument 117:00in the hospital.

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

EGAN: It's all very overgrown now.

E. BULZONE: Yeah. And that's one of his brothers.

EGAN: Wow. I mean, maybe I'm wrong, but I think -- I think I know where this is. He looks so happy.

E. BULZONE: [laughter]

EGAN: Your husband.

E. BULZONE: [laughter] Well -- we -- we always laugh when we see my mother, because my mother generally was always smiling, you know --

EGAN: [laughter]


E. BULZONE: That's Charlie's mother. Well, I'm not much different. [laughter]

EGAN: I just hear my phone, so excuse me one second.

SULLIVAN:Where was -- where were Charlie's parents from? Did -- were they from Italy?


SULLIVAN:Like, they were born in Italy?

E. BULZONE: Yes, they were born in Italy.


E. BULZONE: And his older sister was even born in Italy.

EGAN: Hey. How are you?

SULLIVAN:Oh, that's a great photo.

E. BULZONE: [laughter]

SULLIVAN:There, there, your mom has a little smile there.


E. BULZONE: Yeah. That's -- that's one of his sisters.


E. BULZONE: She's still alive. She's ninety-- she's ninety-three. She was ninety-three on January 31, same day as Christopher.


EGAN: [inaudible]

E. BULZONE: We laugh at this lady.

SULLIVAN:Is that his mom?



E. BULZONE: I don't know who that -- it was a friend of the family's, I guess.


E. BULZONE: This was a niece of his, that's a nephew of his, and that was his brother there --


E. BULZONE: And his sister.


EGAN: Well, I'm happy to have that mystery of the chapel solved.


E. BULZONE: Yeah, right.


E. BULZONE: This is so old. Um, like I say, I -- I know -- Ty, come on away. Come on. Come on. Come on.

SULLIVAN:That building is -- is landmarked now, and --

E. BULZONE: Come on, back here. Come on, Ty. Come on. Come with me. Come with me.


EGAN: Don't worry. It's Okay.

E. BULZONE: Come with me. Come on. Come on.

EGAN: Come on, you big dog.

E. BULZONE: Get in your chair. Get in your chair.

EGAN: That is so interesting.

E. BULZONE: Go sit in your chair.

EGAN: Do you know the sign I mean?

E. BULZONE: Get in the chair.


EGAN: I mean, it faces the yard.


EGAN: And it's very green.

E. BULZONE: In the chair.

EGAN: And sort of -- very eerily overgrown.

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. And with the monument --

EGAN: And the monument is right there.


EGAN: I think those were -- I think those were the steps.



SULLIVAN:And it's made -- I forget the stone, but it's made from stone from upstate New York, and it's a landmarked building now.

E. BULZONE: Oh yeah? Oh.

SULLIVAN:But no one -- it has -- it's, like, such a huge project to take care of it that no one can --

E. BULZONE: Right, well -- I've read various articles, you know, that come out in the papers, so -- so that --

[Interview Interrupted.]

EGAN: It's so interesting that that's the building.

SULLIVAN:Um. So jumping again to your first date at Ebbets Field --

E. BULZONE: I don't even remember -- [laughter] oh, God. I don't remember it. I know we went; we had hot dogs; he always laughed -- he said, the treat -- he was 120:00a big spender, that we had hot dogs. [laughter]

EGAN: [laughter]

E. BULZONE: I don't remember anything.

EGAN: He looks like a guy who liked to laugh and have fun.

E. BULZONE: He was. He was a rip. [laughter]


E. BULZONE: Him and his sister. He never met a stranger. Never met a stranger. He could talk to anybody. Anybody.


EGAN: That's nice.

SULLIVAN:Um. At Ebbets Field, did you -- was that -- I -- I'm particularly interested -- tomorrow, at the Historical Society, we're having an event about the Dodgers. And we're getting a lot of very angry emails from people who are still upset about the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn in the fifties. Because it's still an open wound --


SULLIVAN:And I get the sense from talking to people that Ebbets Field -- that seeing a baseball game at Ebbets Field was different from seeing it at any other 121:00place. Did you -- did you think that?

E. BULZONE: See -- well, me not coming from here -- from here, to me, it was, you know, what I mean -- I had never been to a ball game in Ebbets Field. I mean, there's a lot of people who -- you know -- went there all the time, and I'm sure they're attached to it, I mean, just like the Yankee Stadium and the other field now.


E. BULZONE: But no. Uh, I think -- I think a lot of people -- that was recreation for many people back in those years. You could go to a ballgame and sit there and have a hot dog and a beer or a Coca-Cola and afford it. Now, I mean, forget it. I mean --


E. BULZONE: If these families want to go as a family, they can't even -- you know, I mean, the prices are so -- back then, it was -- that was a cheap date. Everyone always used to tease him, he took me on the cheapest date he could get the first time we went out.

EGAN: [laughter]


E. BULZONE: [laughter]


EGAN: Luckily he was funny.

E. BULZONE: [inaudible] on there. But -- I mean -- to me, it was -- you know, it did not -- did not have as much meaning to me, as far as, you know, when they left or anything. Because I didn't have any, you know, connection with that, other than that, you know, just -- just like that. But people who did, I can see why, because that was -- you know, that was a form of recreation. And they could go, and they enjoyed it. And everybody -- I mean, everybody in Brooklyn, I guess, loved the Brooklyn Dodgers, as far as -- but then, like I say, see, we then moved away, so I never had any contact with it -- you know, neither did Charlie.


E. BULZONE: But -- you know -- I know other people, you know, they used -- they talk about they used to go to Ebbets Field all the time. Because that was the thing to do as far as seeing the ball game.

SULLIVAN: Mm-hmm. Was there a professional team in Indiana at the time, or was that more basketball?

E. BULZONE: No, the closest thing to the base--to baseball was the Chicago Cubs.



E. BULZONE: And, now, when we got married, we went to Indiana, and we went to see them -- we went to a ballgame there, but not, you know just-- we went up for the day. Because we're not -- we could drive up there for a day -- for that day and come back.

EGAN: You went to Chicago for the day.

E. BULZONE: Right.


E. BULZONE: That was a big deal. [laughter]


E. BULZONE: Well, you know, from -- you know, then. But, um -- but went -- getting back to Ebbets Field, like I say, I can see why people, you know, felt that way. But I personally -- you know, didn't have that much connection with it.

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: So I didn't -- but it's -- it's sad to think, you know, those places -- you think about them later on, you know -- like the -- the house my family lives in, it's over a hundred years old, where -- where I grew up. Big old brick 124:00house -- was built by pioneers. And we lived near -- it was near an Indian reservation, and things like that. You know? But, I mean, kids nowadays, my nieces and nephew, they don't even know, they don't even care. You know what I mean?


E. BULZONE: So as I say, times change.


E. BULZONE: And -- I don't know if it's good or bad, but [laughter] they change.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

SULLIVAN:When -- when you went on that first date with your husband, and he -- he, you guys met through the Navy, was it okay and acceptable --

E. BULZONE: Oh, yes. Oh, yeah.

SULLIVAN:-- for people within the Navy to date?

E. BULZONE: Oh, yes. No, no -- they had no -- now, uh -- There was no restrictions between enlisted personnel, but there -- it -- they sort of 125:00condoned officers to enlisted personnel. Like, there was always an officers' mess -- the officers, they didn't want in the cafeteria. Enlisted personnel ate in another cafeteria.

SULLIVAN:And you were enlisted personnel?

E. BULZONE: I was enlisted personnel.


E. BULZONE: But, I mean, outside -- when you were outside, back in those days, it was not, you know, where we were stationed, in the receiving station. It wouldn't have been uncommon if you went out with one of the officers -- you know what I mean?


E. BULZONE: But they didn't, uh, but -- and as far as working inside, there's always an area -- this is officers' quarters, and this is enlisted quarters. That still is -- it still is.

EGAN: Can I just interrupt with a question? You mentioned that you were a yeoman. What does that mean?


E. BULZONE: That meant that you did administrative work.

EGAN: Mm-hmm. Okay.

E. BULZONE: And you were working with, like, with personnel. Whereas my husband was a storekeeper, so he had to do with anything like the payroll, or anything like that. Anything with buying supplies; he was commissary officer in Norfolk, he was commissary officer in Saipan. But they had to do with getting in the supplies and ordering and buying, and he -- they ran the ship store on the ship. They used to go to Italy all the time, and he'd go to places where they sold, say, cameos, and he would buy, say, fifty cameos, and they would take them on the ship and they would sell them in the store.


E. BULZONE: Or he would buy -- you know, whatever. You know, they made deals. On sweaters -- these, uh, sweaters -- you know, these are things that I've had over the years. I -- you know, you know -- and jewelry; they would buy jewelry, and 127:00stuff like that. That's what he was -- that was, like, the money part of the Navy.


E. BULZONE: So that's what he -- he came up through the ranks and became a -- a warrant officer before he retired.


E. BULZONE: He and, uh -- he was free terminal officer in Bayonne when he retired. Back to, um -- but that's what it was. That's -- that's what they did. And, um, they always say -- they call them the pen-pushers. That's the yeoman.


E. BULZONE: Ellen, you were a pen-pusher. [laughter]

EGAN: [laughter]


E. BULZONE: But -- that's the two. Now, it means he's going to be a radio man -- I'm learning a little more about radio. And then --

EGAN: Your grandson?

E. BULZONE: -- and then he's into submarines -- either they've got a fish, when he gets -- because we never got -- you know, we didn't get them. And now -- we 128:00used to always have to wear our pins on our uniforms -- now they wear their pins only on their shirt collar. That's the only place they'd wear a pin now. And they changed -- changed at lot since --

EGAN: Yeah.

E. BULZONE: -- since I was in the Navy.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: But, uh -- now to answer your question, I mean, you could associate with them, but -- you know -- when it came to inside and eating and living quarters and things like that, there was -- it's always -- they're always -- there's always been officers' country and an enlisted country and --

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: Still is.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

SULLIVAN:And what about -- being a woman in the military, was there things in place to stop the sort of sexual harassment or, like, other things that you would imagine happening when there's a lot more men and less women?

E. BULZONE: I don't think so -- I don't know. I don't think so -- not when I was 129:00there. I -- I mean, I never experienced it anyway. Because as you can see, we all, uh -- you know -- worked together, and we never have -- not back then. I -- uh -- I think it's changed a lot since then -- maybe, especially in the army.


E. BULZONE: But, uh, of course, the army does a different type of work anyway, you know, than the Navy. But I -- I don't -- I'm -- back when I was in, no -- if there is, now -- I have -- I have no idea.


E. BULZONE: Because really, since my husband retired, like I say, we have really not been in contact -- only with veterans, you know what I mean? And until he went in -- I mean, really, I had never even been to Great Lakes Naval Training Center. You know? And things like that. So we really -- you know, I never came in contact with anybody now.


E. BULZONE: So I have no idea what goes on now. But not back then. There wasn't -- we didn't experience it.



E. BULZONE: I mean, we just all worked together and had a good time and that was it.

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. What about being a woman in the military when you were in the civilian time? Like, would you wear your uniform from the receiving station going back to your quarters?

E. BULZONE: Oh, yeah.

SULLIVAN:How did people -- how did people react?

E. BULZONE: I don't know. I don't know. I guess they -- they were accustomed to seeing us, and --


E. BULZONE: So -- we were -- as far as I know, as I say, I don't know that they did any, you know -- and I don't know what their opinions were. They never -- like, never threw stones at us or anything. [laughter]

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. What about women who worked inside the yards, like, welding, in the factories and stuff? Did you hear about --



SULLIVAN:-- the women working in there?

E. BULZONE: No. I never knew them.



SULLIVAN:Was there a -- I don't know if this happens in the Navy, but did different stations have different -- like -- people will say -- oh, too bad you got stationed there, or too bad you got stationed there, because this one's good and that one's bad? Is there --


SULLIVAN:-- different sort of rumors that go around about different places?

E. BULZONE: No, but Norfolk used to have a terrible name -- downtown Norfolk used to have a terrible name for -- you know, like Sands Street in Brooklyn?


E. BULZONE: There was an area in Norfolk like that, too. There's areas that you -- you didn't go to.

SULLIVAN:But in terms of being stationed -- like, if someone --


SULLIVAN:Like, Okay, now you have to go to Virginia --


SULLIVAN:People weren't like, oh --

E. BULZONE: Well, a lot of people, you know, they were like, well -- you know, in the back of their mind, they like -- they had a lot of places they'd like to go to, but, I mean, uh --

SULLIVAN:But was it more a personal thing?

E. BULZONE: Yeah. Right. Right. I mean, if you got orders to go, I mean, you 132:00went. You -- you didn't have any choice, really.

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. I guess I was wondering if like -- because, Brooklyn has such a -- a reputation for movies and things like that -- I wondered what the reputation of the Brooklyn Navy Yard would have been among people --

E. BULZONE: Yeah. I have no idea. I have no idea. I don't know.

SULLIVAN:Why did your husband enlist?

E. BULZONE: Oh, he came from a bad neighborhood. He was -- you know, he was only seventeen years old. He had to get his mother's permission; he --


E. BULZONE: So he --

SULLIVAN:So it was sort of, like, a way --

E. BULZONE: Of getting --


E. BULZONE: Right.


E. BULZONE: Getting out of the environment that he was living in.

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: You know? You know -- he -- that was a way of escaping from everything.


E. BULZONE: Because he came from the section called Red Hook.



E. BULZONE: That's Red Hook down below there --


E. BULZONE: And this -- so -- I mean --

SULLIVAN:Yeah, I'd heard about Red Hook at that time, that there was gangs, and --

E. BULZONE: Right, right. Yeah, I just -- from what I hear from his family and everything, I mean, it was really a bad -- you know, it was really a bad area, like. But I don't think it is any more so much, but I mean, back in those days, I guess it was --

EGAN: Is that the area where the house was torn down eventually?

E. BULZONE: Mm-hmm. Right --

EGAN: Okay.

E. BULZONE: Hm, well, below -- well, below, uh -- say, below the Gowanus thing. You know, that whole area along there -- from -- down to the waterfront --

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: That's that area. And then it went all around -- I think it goes all around ah -- be -- now where the cruise ships go out of down there now?


E. BULZONE: That area -- I think -- is still part of -- I think; I don't know, 134:00I'm not that familiar with it -- I just know that -- you know -- whenever they talk about where you come from Brooklyn, you come from Red Hook, "oh, oh," you know?


E. BULZONE: [laughter] So -- I never lived there, so I don't know. [laughter] But -- no, he joined very young. And he did very well, you know, by getting out of that neighborhood, I guess. So -- that's it.

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. I think that's it for my questions. Oh, actually, I do have one more up here. And that was about Carlton Street in Brooklyn: that was -- is that Fort Green? Was that the name of it?

E. BULZONE: I don't -- I don't know where that is.

EGAN: Oh, that's right. You were saying Greenpoint. Maybe --?

E. BULZONE: Carlton Avenue? Isn't it Carlton Avenue?

EGAN: It is Carlton Avenue.

E. BULZONE: Carlton Avenue, I think it is.

EGAN: The only thing I can't figure out is where the dead end would have been.

E. BULZONE: It seems to me like that there was a dead end there. And -- oh. I 135:00have to look up on the map -- I don't have a map...

EGAN: Because Carlton intersects with Flushing, right? Doesn't it go all the way over there?

E. BULZONE: It would be Flushing.

SULLIVAN:It does. Or --

SULLIVAN:It goes all the way to the BQE and then --

EGAN: Right, which wouldn't have been there yet.


EGAN: Yeah, so maybe it was -- huh. Yeah, I think you were probably living -- if -- I mean, it probably was Fort Green, not Greenpoint.

E. BULZONE: Fort Green.

EGAN: Yeah. Which would have been fairly near the Navy Yard.

E. BULZONE: It seems like, to go from that apartment, we had to go to the right and then go left. But I just remember that that was a dead end there.

EGAN: Hmmm.

E. BULZONE: And it -- but -- it was not too far from the Navy Yard, that's for sure.


E. BULZONE: Because the apartment we got -- it so happened that it had been 136:00another Navy couple's apartment. And Ray Feltz knew this guy, and knew he was being transferred, and he finagled some way that we got that apartment --


E. BULZONE: Because -- you know, that's how we got it. So it was in that vicinity.


E. BULZONE: I mean, you know what I mean. It had to be. But, you know, I don't really remember now how far.

SULLIVAN:Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: But that was the --

SULLIVAN:What was that -- what was the neighborhood like?

E. BULZONE: Well, like I say, it was all brownstones, with the exception of, right, you looked out of the front window, there was this big brick building that was a cheese factory. [laughter]


EGAN: That's so interesting. Did you smell the cheese?

E. BULZONE: No, I don't remember that. [laughter] I don't remember that. But I -- but I -- somebody -- I don't know -- years later we were talking to somebody and they said that cheese factory's not there anymore. And, well, so that's all I know.


EGAN: I wonder if the building is still there, though.

E. BULZONE: Oh, I don't know.

EGAN: Did Ray Feltz stay in Brooklyn too for a long time?


E. BULZONE: No. After we left, like I said, Charlie went for a year in China, so Ray left shortly after us, and he went to Norfolk. Because when Charlie came back, he was already in Norfolk, so we went from Indiana -- from California to Indiana straight to Norfolk. And he was already there.

EGAN: And did he marry as well?

E. BULZONE: Oh, he'd been married. He was married all the time.

EGAN: Uh-huh.

E. BULZONE: His wife, you know -- he was married all the time. Uh, Pat was his wife's name. And they -- she finally left the Bronx and came to Norfolk to live too. She lived across the street from us -- they lived across the street from us in Norfolk for -- till we got transferred to Pensacola. And he stayed on there, and then he retired from there. But uh --

EGAN: How many kids did they have?

E. BULZONE: They had one girl -- Prudie. [laughter] She lives in Norfolk. Her 138:00and her husband run some sorts of a sports arena of some kind -- batting stations or something. I really don't -- don't get what it is. I don't know, but it seems like they do all right. And they have one son, Brendan, who is a vice-president of one of the banks -- chain banks in Virginia. In, you know, the southwest -- in the southwest -- I don't know if it's some -- anyway, that's what he does.


E. BULZONE: But if anybody -- if anybody -- if you find out -- if anybody -- he can tell you -- he can tell you how many people were there and who -- what they did and everything else.


E. BULZONE: I mean he -- he knew that place inside and out.


E. BULZONE: But ah, so that's about all I know.

SULLIVAN:Well, this has been great.

EGAN: Yeah, this is wonderful. Thank you so much.


SULLIVAN:I'm just going to --

EGAN: Did a lot of talking. Thank you. I know it's kind of tiring.

E. BULZONE: [laughter] Well, you know, like you say, some things come back to you, and some things you've forgotten.

EGAN: Well, we figured out you got married in the hospital.

E. BULZONE: Yeah. I never knew -- I -- that I didn't re--you know, I just know it was a small chapel, and the fact that I was Protestant and he was Catholic, you could not get married, because we went to the parish down on -- uh, St. Stephen's --

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: On, uh -- in Brooklyn -- we went to see the priest, and he wouldn't -- he wouldn't marry us because I was Protestant.


E. BULZONE: So that's why we had to do that. And they -- somehow they changed the altar or something, I don't know what they did, to be a [inaudible]. So that's why we were able --

SULLIVAN:So it wasn't officially a Catholic wedding.

E. BULZONE: Well, it was and it wasn't. [laughter]

EGAN: Yeah. [laughter]

E. BULZONE: In those days -- nowadays I guess it would have been nobody cares.


EGAN: Yeah.

E. BULZONE: But in those days, oh my God. [laughter]

EGAN: Hmmm. Did you -- you mentioned -- this is off the subject, but -- that your husband opened a travel business. Did you guys travel much together later?

E. BULZONE: Oh yeah.

EGAN: Yeah?

E. BULZONE: Yeah. Yeah, we traveled quite a bit.

EGAN: That sounds fun.

E. BULZONE: Yeah. We had it for thirty-one years. We just --

EGAN: Wow.

E. BULZONE: We just gave it up -- no, I was getting tired of it, because I did all the book work and everything, and it was just -- oh, I was just tired of doing it. So I says, let's just quit. So we decided to quit, and the very next year, we were in Florida, he suffered a heart attack. So it was just as well we got out of the business when we did.

EGAN: Yeah.

E. BULZONE: Then we came back home, and we were here for a year -- went back to Florida, because we have a condo down there. Very same time, same time of the 141:00year, he had another heart attack. Three times he had a heart attack.


E. BULZONE: Same month, same everything. Super Bowl week. Every year.

EGAN: Wow.

E. BULZONE: And it was weird.


E. BULZONE: Weird.

EGAN: And the doctors couldn't figure out anything to do to make his heart better?

E. BULZONE: No. No. They didn't. He recovered every time -- he was fine. And he came back -- he was here the last time, and he had -- and then down there, they got him out of, um -- they call them TIAs.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: Came back here, he had the last one, and he went to the hospital here -- they left him laying for two days. And he came home paralyzed with -- one whole side. Down there -- the minute -- because where we were, where we were, we were about five minutes from a hospital. Those times, took him right to the hospital, and they started working on him immediately. No -- no nothing. And 142:00everybody says, well, they -- they knew right what was happening, because they had all the old people down there having these things, so they took care of them right away.

EGAN: Hmm.

E. BULZONE: Every time he had it -- we flew back after he had them both times. And here, we went to the hospital here in St. Vincent's -- they left him laying, and --

SULLIVAN:St. Vincent's in Manhattan?

E. BULZONE: No, in --

SULLIVAN:Oh, there's one on Staten Island?

E. BULZONE: There's one -- there was one on -- not now -- they foreclosed on them. But, uh, St. Vincent's here --

SULLIVAN:So the care was not at a high level.

E. BULZONE: Nothing like what they have down there. Nothing.

EGAN: Mmmm.

E. BULZONE: It was terrible. So he eventually, then -- what happened, really, he had a gallbladder operation, and somehow -- that I don't know -- something must have gone wrong then, or whether he had adhesions or what, and nobody knew what was happening, and all the poison backed up into his system. And so he went into 143:00the hospital, and he was there thirteen days, and he passed away.

EGAN: This was the same hospital --


EGAN: -- where that operation was?

E. BULZONE: Yeah. Same hospital.

EGAN: Mmmm.

E. BULZONE: Yeah, so I, see I'm still a Navy dependent, and I tell my daughter -- my daughter says, "Mummy, I'll never take you there." I say, "Well," you know -- because you sort of, if you have their medical care, you have to sort of have to do a few things to, you know, to have that. And that's the hospital that's designated for us. But my primary doctor is still, you know, from the Navy, and he says "You can go to any hospital you want to. If you get sick," he says, "You can go wherever you want." So --


E. BULZONE: I hope that's true --

EGAN: Yeah.

E. BULZONE: If the day comes.


E. BULZONE: 'Cause she'll -- she'll -- I think she'll -- she'll refuse. Because she still thinks they -- well, I think that too but, you know, you can't prove it.


EGAN: Yeah.

E. BULZONE: But it seems so strange that he could have, you know, such good care after two, and two weeks later get on a plane and fly home --

EGAN: Yeah.

E. BULZONE: -- and he had the same thing here and let them lay and lay and --


EGAN: I mean, the one thing is, I'm sure with every heart attack, it's -- it's --

E. BULZONE: It was -- it was worse, worse.

EGAN: It's worse.

E. BULZONE: So, no --

EGAN: So, you know, I'm sure that --

E. BULZONE: I'm sure that -- no, there's a --

EGAN: A little bit of that.

E. BULZONE: You know, a little bit of that too. But, um --

EGAN: But I'm sure you're right, too, that in Florida, if anyone's going to know how to deal with a heart attack --

E. BULZONE: Right.

EGAN: -- it's going to be a hospital in Florida.

E. BULZONE: Right, because -- it would be a hospital in Florida.


EGAN: Yeah.

E. BULZONE: Right. Exactly.

EGAN: So it's very painful --

E. BULZONE: Exactly.

EGAN: -- to think of that.

E. BULZONE: Yeah. But, uh, anyway. So we had given up the travel business then --

EGAN: Right.

E. BULZONE: -- but when we first -- when he first retired, we were in real estate -- we were in real estate before the bridge --

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

E. BULZONE: -- and after the bridge.

EGAN: Right.

E. BULZONE: So then he decided -- he says, you know -- and he knew -- he knew 145:00every nook and cranny in the world anyway, you know, from being in the Navy. So that was just up his line.

EGAN: Yeah.


E. BULZONE: So -- he, um, well, we enjoyed it. We traveled a lot, and he traveled a lot without me, because we were both working in the same place.

EGAN: Right.

E. BULZONE: [laughter] And in -- some places I didn't even want to go anyway, he went to India for fifteen days, I says -- oh, I couldn't -- I can't even stand that food. I wouldn't -- [laughter]

EGAN: [laughter]


E. BULZONE: -- you know, like that, but, uh --

SULLIVAN:What was the favorite place that you've been?



E. BULZONE: Well, I don't know. I'd made -- everybody thinks I'm crazy, but we used to go to Acapulco years ago. Acapulco was a fun place.

EGAN: Yeah. I've heard that too.

E. BULZONE: It was years ago. In fact, we built an apartment there once. We had it for a couple of years. [laughter]

EGAN: I had an aunt who was in --

E. BULZONE: I had -- I had -- I used to always -- I mean, we'd just pack up on a 146:00Friday and go, and Saturday, Sunday, Monday, come back Tuesday -- I mean, it was great. I mean, uh, now, I -- I go to travel agents two days a week in the -- in the mall. You can't even send anybody -- they don't even think of Acapulco anymore. I said -- and I said to Marisa, I said, "Marisa, you know, I could use -- a go) -- we used to go there all the time. Now everybody goes to Cancun."

EGAN: Hmm.


E. BULZONE: Oh, God. And I've never been there. [laughter]


EGAN: I think Acapulco got very built up.

E. BULZONE: Well, true. And we went on a cruise ship and we went in there for one day and we went out to -- there was a hotel, the Princess Hotels outside of the city. It's a beautiful hotel. And, uh, it's -- it was still the same, you know, then. But like I say, nobody -- I don't know. From here, this area, anyway, or for her type of business, anyway, nobody even considers Acapulco.


EGAN: Hmmm.

E. BULZONE: But I used to love to go there. And just -- we had an apartment up on the sixth floor that looked out over the water.

EGAN: Mmm.

E. BULZONE: And it was just, you know... And you could go there. Of course, I mean, I've been to nice places. I mean, Singapore -- I went to Singapore, and you'd be amazed at that city, how clean, and you didn't dare spit your chewing gum on the street or anything else. That's how clean it was.

EGAN: Wow.

E. BULZONE: It was -- it was nice. It was a -- and Hong Kong, I've been -- you know, I mean, I've been a -- that's not necessarily -- you know, I've been there a couple times, but I just mean, you know -- but Singapore's an unusual city.


E. BULZONE: As far as cleanliness goes.


EGAN: Mmm.

E. BULZONE: And really, uh -- and then, of course, I've been all over Europe. [laughter]

EGAN: That's so nice.


E. BULZONE: But -- and all over the Caribbean, oh, my God. But, uh -- no, we've 148:00had a good life. I mean, you know, as I say, we had a good life. We had fun.

EGAN: That's -- boy, you can't ask for more, really.

E. BULZONE: Right. No. That's true. That's true.

EGAN: You keep having fun all those years -- it's pretty great.

E. BULZONE: Right. Right.

SULLIVAN:This is the release form that gives the interview to the Brooklyn Historical Society and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

E. BULZONE: [laughter] Oh, I've just --

SULLIVAN:The archive.

E. BULZONE: I'd like to see what you put together. [laughter]


E. BULZONE: You want me to sign it?

SULLIVAN:Yeah. And would you like a copy? I can send you a copy.

E. BULZONE: Yeah. Yeah, right. Well, I told you -- you know, I don't think you're the first one to call me. Someone -- is this -- is there some other --

EGAN: I was calling.


EGAN: And also Daniella. There -- I think two of us were calling.

E. BULZONE: Well, and anyway, I think I told you -- I told my daughter, you know, because she's a, you know, an editor and everything. And I told her about it, and I says, "I told them no." And she says, "Mommy, why did you do that?" I 149:00says, "oh," I says, "Marisa," I says, "I can't imagine what I could" -- you know. So the second time you called, I can hear her in the back saying, "If they ever call you again, you'd better tell them you'll go do it."

EGAN: [laughter]

E. BULZONE: So that's why -- [laughter] You have to put -- you have to thank her for that.

EGAN: Well, tell your daughter thank you. [laughter]


E. BULZONE: Because I says, "Marisa," I says, "I can't imagine what I can tell them, because I can't even remember anything about it, you know."

EGAN: That is so funny.


E. BULZONE: And, you know, she -- she interviews people, and she -- she has done, like, some historical things. She belongs to Murray Hill Historical Society.



E. BULZONE: And -- ah -- they, you know, they -- so she says, "You don't know how hard it is when you're trying to do something and want somebody to tell you something, and they say, ah, they don't want to do it."


EGAN: Oh, that is so nice that she did that.

E. BULZONE: So she says, "You better do it." Mm-hmm. [laughter]

EGAN: I'm so grateful.

SULLIVAN:I'm so glad, too. That's excellent.

EGAN: Well I said to Sady, "I'd left so many messages and I never heard back -- how did you get her to say yes?"

E. BULZONE: [laughter]


EGAN: I was stupefied.

E. BULZONE: I know, I know.

EGAN: I was like, "What is it, a magic touch that you have?"



E. BULZONE: Oh, she got on my case.

SULLIVAN:Uh-huh. [laughter]

EGAN: [laughter] That is really funny. [laughter]

E. BULZONE: I says, all right. [laughter]

EGAN: Oh, that is funny.

SULLIVAN:This is. I'm glad that you called --

E. BULZONE: Well, the next time they all called, whoever it was --

EGAN: It makes me feel better. I thought, is there something about my voice that is really alienating?


EGAN: But then Sady called and she said --

E. BULZONE: No. I'll tell you something else that they have, you know. They have a women's memorial -- I mean, this is not -- it's sort of like a year line [phonetic], you know what I mean? But, um, they have a, um -- a women's memorial in Washington, DC.

EGAN: Mm-hmm.

SULLIVAN:For the -- for Navy women? Or for all --

E. BULZONE: For Navy women.

EGAN: Oh, nice.

E. BULZONE: They have a Navy -- uh, a regular Navy one, you know, too, but they have a women's. It's actually a women's memorial. And they raised all the money years ago and built this big building right outside of Arlington National Cemetery.

EGAN: Wow.

E. BULZONE: Right as you go in. I don't know if you've ever been there, but my husband is buried there, so that's how I know, but --

EGAN: Oh, okay.

E. BULZONE: But, you know -- Marisa -- there is a --

SULLIVAN:Is that your daughter? Marisa?

E. BULZONE: Right.



E. BULZONE: She did a book with a, um, Air Force woman, retired. I don't know if I have it or not. I tell you, she's given me all these books. I don't -- [laughter] But she did a book with, uh, a retired woman, in the Navy -- with the women's, in military. It's women in the military service for the American Memorial Foundation: that's really what it is. And, um --

EGAN: And your daughter did -- helped on that book?

E. BULZONE: She -- she did a book with a lady, right. That -- and they wrote, you know, she wrote about her experiences and everything.


E. BULZONE: But the -- but there was this women's memorial, and it's a big building, and you can go in, and, um, they have places that you can type in your name, and your picture comes up, and all that kind of stuff.

EGAN: Nice.


E. BULZONE: And, uh -- so naturally I sent my money in, so my picture's there.


EGAN: Sure. Why not?

SULLIVAN:That's great.

E. BULZONE: But that's what this folder is, you know. But it is, um --

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Interview Description

Oral History Interview with Ellen Bulzone

Ellen Hanlin Bulzone (1923-2019) grew up in Pennville, Indiana on a farm. In 1943, she joined the US Navy with a friend from Indiana, and moved to New York to begin training at Hunter College. After further training and work in Stillwater, Oklahoma and in Sampson, New York, Bulzone was transferred to the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1946. She married later that year and remained in Brooklyn working at Macy's in Manhattan while her husband served as a commissary officer in California and China. When he returned in 1948, they moved to Norfolk, Virginia, where Ellen Bulzone worked at the Norfolk Navy Yard until her son was born. They later moved to Pensacola Florida, Bayonne, New Jersey and finally Staten Island, New York.

In this interview, Ellen Hanlin Bulzone (1923-2019) details her various duties at the receiving station near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. She also talks about her life before joining the Navy, her uniform, her and her husband's first date at Ebbets Field, her family and in-laws and her marriage inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard Hospital's chapel. She explains how Catholic churches refused to marry them because her husband was Catholic and she was Protestant. She also discusses her feelings about moving from a small town in Indiana to New York City. Interview conducted by Sady Sullivan and Jennifer Egan.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard oral history collection is comprised of over fifty interviews of men and women who worked in or around the Brooklyn Navy Yard, primarily during World War II. The narrators discuss growing up in New York, their work at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, their relationships with others at the Yard, gender relations and transportation to and from work. Many narrators bring up issues of ethnicity, race, and religion at the Yard or in their neighborhoods. Several people describe the launching of the USS Missouri battleship and recall in detail their daily tasks at the Yard (as welders, office workers and ship fitters). While the interviews focus primarily on experiences in and around the Yard, many narrators go on to discuss their lives after the Navy Yard, relating stories about their careers, dating and marriage, children, social activities, living conditions and the changes that took place in Manhattan and Brooklyn during their lifetimes.


Bulzone, Ellen Hanlin, 1923-2019, Oral history interview conducted by Sady Sullivan and Jennifer Egan, March 20, 2009, Brooklyn Navy Yard oral history collection, 2010.003.005; Brooklyn Historical Society.


  • Bulzone, Ellen Hanlin, 1923-2019
  • Macy's (Firm)
  • New York Naval Shipyard


  • Catholics
  • Dating (Social custom)
  • Ebbets Field (New York, N.Y.)
  • Ethnicity
  • Friendship
  • Marriage
  • Military uniforms
  • Naval reserves
  • Religion
  • Security systems
  • Shipyards
  • Transportation
  • Uniforms
  • Wages
  • Women--Employment
  • Women's clothing
  • Women's education
  • Working class
  • World War, 1939-1945


  • Brooklyn Navy Yard
  • Fort Greene (New York, N.Y.)
  • Hunter College
  • Naval Base Norfolk (Va.)
  • Pennville (Jay County, Ind.)
  • Red Hook (New York, N.Y.)


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Finding Aid

Brooklyn Navy Yard oral history collection